Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 11, 2008

Percentage of women who cite "financial strain" as a major threat to the American family, according to findings of a nationwide survey by Meredith Corp. and NBC Universal: 68

Percentage who also cite "divorce" as a major threat: 48

Percentage who also cite "loss of faith/spirituality": 47

Source: Meredith Corp.

Percentage of employment screenings in 2007 that turned up criminal record convictions, or "hits," according to a study conducted by Kroll: 9.5

Ranks of construction, automotive and retail among the industries with the highest criminal record hit ratios in 2007: 1, 2, 3

Source: Kroll.

Percentage of Americans who say the dream to own a home is still attainable for most citizens, according to a survey conducted by Zogby International: 51

Percentage of Americans who say they spend more than 30 percent of their household budget on housing — which according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), indicates that they are "cost burdened": 43

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of Americans who said they don't feel like they have the free time in the evenings that they had five years ago, according to a survey conducted by StrategyOne for Listerine Antiseptic: 55

Percentage who agree that Americans are working longer days than ever before: 80

Source: Edelman.

Annual cost of global piracy to the U.S. economy, according to "The True Cost of Copyright Industry Piracy to the U.S. Economy" study conducted for the Institute for Policy Innovation: $58 billion

Estimated cost in jobs lost: 375,000

Cost in lost annual earnings: $16.3 billion

Cost in lost tax revenue: $2.6 billion

Source: Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Percentage of employees who feel more relaxed than stressed when they are connected to work by a wireless device, according to Yahoo! HotJobs' annual virtual workplace survey: 37

Percentage who are altogether indifferent to their wireless device, feeling neither relaxed nor stressed by it: 42

Source: Yahoo! HotJobs.

Percentage of employees who say they left their jobs to seek new challenges or opportunities that were lacking with their previous employers, according to a study by Buchanan Public Relations: 30

Percentage of respondents who reported leaving employers because of ineffective leadership: 25

Percentage who cited poor relationships with their managers: 22

Source: Buchanan Public Relations.

Percentage of all U.S. non-farm jobs that are in the U.S. travel economy, according to Travel Industry Association of America data: 12.5

Number of jobs this represents: 7.5 million

Percentage of the U.S. total gross domestic product that is attributable to the travel industry: 3

Source: Travel Industry Association of America.

Average net worth of a major league baseball (MLB) team in 2008, according to a study conducted by Forbes: $472 million

Net worth of the New York Yankees, the most valuable MLB team: $1.3 billion

Ranks of the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the next most valuable teams: 2, 3, 4

Source: Forbes.

Estimated value of all U.S. consumer spending for Mother's Day in 2008, according to a study conducted by the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch: $15.8 billion

Percentage of consumers celebrating Mother's Day who say they will purchase one major gift for their mother rather than several smaller gifts: 84.2

Ranks of special dinner or brunch, jewelry, gift cards/gift certificates, flowers, and clothing and accessories among the most popular Mother's Day gifts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: BIGresearch.

Idle Thought

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600