Figuratively Speaking for October 25, 2009

Percentage of search firm consultants who believe age becomes a significant factor in a hiring decision when a candidate is over the age of 50, according to surveys conducted by ExecuNet: 91

Percentage who report that age is never a factor when candidates are evaluated for a new opportunity: 5

Percentage of business leaders (with an average age of 50) who believed their age was working against them in a job search: 41

Source: ExecuNet

Estimated amount of money collected by banks and credit unions in overdraft fees last year, according to a study by the Center for Responsible Lending: $24 billion

Percentage increase from just two years ago: 35

Source: Center for Responsible Lending.

Projected sales of costumes, scary makeup, wigs, Halloween decorations for inside and outside, and, of course, pumpkins and candy, for America's darkest holiday, (up 4.2 percent from the $5.77 billion generated last year), according to industry research firm IBISWorld: $6 billion

Amount the average person is estimated to spend on Halloween treats in 2009: $22.50

Source: IBISWorld

Percentage of workers who don't think their boss is honest, according to a survey by the Adecco Group: 53

Percentage of employees who even go so far as to say that they believe their boss is dishonest about their job security: 25

Percentage who would lay off/fire their boss if given the option: 28

Source: Adecco

Ranks of princess, witch and Spider-Man on the list of top costumes for kids this Halloween, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of pumpkin, devil and fancy collars on the list of top costumes for pets this year: 1, 2, 3

Source: National Retail Federation

Percentage of moms who feel lonely and unsupported in their day-to-day lives and turn online to form new friendships based on shared interests, life events and parenting support, according to research from Mom Central Consulting: 60

Percentage of moms who feel they lack enough friends in their lives: 80

Source: Mom Central Inc.

Percentage of administrative professionals who said that the level of autonomy in making decisions has increased in the last five years, according to a survey from the International Association of Administrative Professionals: 72

Percentage who have increased responsibility at work: 73

Percentage who have seen their overall contribution to their organization increase: 85

Source: International Association of Administrative Professionals

Percentage of parents today who admit to using alcohol or other drugs to get drunk or high when they were teenagers, according to findings in the "Four Generations Overcoming Addiction" survey of teens and parents' attitudes toward parent-child communications about alcohol and drugs, commissioned by Minnesota-based addiction treatment center Hazelden: 50

Percentage of teens who say they've seen their parents high or drunk: 26

Source: Hazelden

Percentage of toilets in the U.S. that leak, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 25

Estimated number of gallons of water that one leaking toilet can waste in a year: 70,000

Each day in the U.S., estimated number of gallons of water that is used for all purposes, including generating electricity and irrigation: 400 billion

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

With all the possible Halloween festivities, ranks of watching a scary movie (23 percent), costume parties (17 percent) and trick-or-treating (17 percent) on respondents' list of favorite Halloween activities, according to the Redbox "Halloween Thrillers" survey: 1, 2 (tie)

Ranks of "The Exorcist" (19 percent), "Halloween" (11 percent) and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (11 percent) on the list of the best horror movies of all-time: 1, 2 (tie)

Rank of Hannibal Lecter from "The Silence of the Lambs" on the list of the most frightening movie villains: 1

Source: Redbox Automated Retail LLC.

Idle Thought

"A good leader can't get too far ahead of his followers." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)

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