Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 10, 2008

Percentage of 18-year-olds to 29-year-olds who see themselves as a career hourly worker, according to a survey for 40

Percentage who consider themselves a career salaried worker: 41

Percentage of working Americans who are now paid by the hour, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics: 59


When Americans were asked if they could choose a vacation in any country in the world outside the United States without having to worry about the cost, the rank of Italy as the most popular choice: 1

Ranks of Australia, Great Britain, France and Ireland on the list: 2, 3, 4, 5

Percentage who say they would not go anywhere outside the United States: 6

Source: Harris Interactive.

Value of the coffee market (inclusive of both retail and food-service sales) in 2007, according to an updated study from Packaged Facts: $44 billion

Percentage of coffee sales in 2007 that were accounted for by food-service venues: 87

Percentage of the retail market commanded by premium packaged versions of recognizable food-service brands, such as Seattle's Best, Starbucks and Peet's, according to indications thus far for 2008: 30

Source: Packaged Facts.

Percentage of young Americans 18 years old to 34 years old who say they are facing growing financial stress, according to research conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for the Qvisory 2008 Greenberg survey: 55

Percentage of young people who report having gone deeper in debt over the past year: 73

Percentage who say they are paying only their minimum monthly amount on their credit card: 51

Source: Qvisory.

Estimated annual costs associated with common pain conditions and lost productivity due to musculoskeletal disorders such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, according to a study by Fellowes: $61.2 billion

Source: GolinHarris.

Percentage of U.S. drinkers who cited beer as their preferred beverage, according to the results of Gallup's annual Consumption Habits Poll: 42

Percentage who said wine is their preference: 31

Percentage who preferred liquor: 23

Source: Gallup.

Percentage increase in the number of "microborrowers" (people involved in the field of "microfinance," which serves those with very low incomes) worldwide in 2006, according to the latest Vital Signs Update released by the Worldwatch Institute: 17

Average microloan size worldwide: $1,026

Estimated value of the portfolio: $13.5 billion

Percentage of the people who lived on $2 or less per day in 2001 that today's 133 million microborrowers represent: 5

Source: WorldWatch Institute.

Percentage of international business travelers who say they are allowed to fly business class for long-haul flights: 56

Of the 44 percent who are not, percentage who say their company policy has changed in the past year: 10

Percentage of companies that say the area in which they are most limiting or keeping an eye on spending is air travel: 32

Source: Orbitz.

Percentage of CFOs who said that interpersonal abilities are the most important communication skill for financial professionals, according to an Accountemps survey: 50

Percentage who cited presentation/public speaking ability as the most important: 17

Percentage who said that negotiation skills are the most important: 16

Percentage who said writing ability: 12

Source: Robert Half International.

Number of the approximately 87 million Americans living in rental housing who do not have insurance to cover their belongings in case of loss, according to a survey by Allstate: 50 million

Percentage of renters who say the reason for not having purchased rental insurance is that they haven't made time to look into it: 43

Source: Allstate Insurance Company.

Idle Thought

"Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn't look up. Well, maybe once." -- Isaac Asimov

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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