Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For April 19, 2009

Percentage of U.S. companies that viewed their middle managers as unqualified to be promoted to the next level, according to a survey by ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm: 33

Percentage that rated their middle managers as "very qualified": 6

Source: ClearRock.

Percentage of all U.S. births in 2007 that were out-of-wedlock births, according to newly released preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics: 40

In a Pew Research survey, percentage of Americans who said that more single women having children is a bad thing for society: 66

Percentage who said that more unmarried couples having children is a bad thing for society: 59

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Ranks of promotion, cash, paid time off, boss shares achievement with senior management, and in-person "thank you's" on the list of the recognition valued most by managers, according to a study developed by OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of in-person "thank you's," boss shares achievement with senior management, promotion, membership in a professional association, and registration for a conference or seminar on the list of the recognition valued most by administrative professionals: 1 (tie), 3, 4, 5

Source: OfficeTeam.

Percentage of travelers who plan to use shared-ride shuttle services to get to the airport as a way to make budget cuts for this year's vacation, according to a survey conducted by GO Group: 53

Percentage who plan to book through discount travel Web sites: 46

Percentage who will stop checking luggage to avoid fees now imposed by the airlines: 24

Source: GO Group LLC.

Number of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in 2008 -- up 3 percent over 2007, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: 12.1 million

Amount spent on cosmetic procedures in the U.S. in 2008: $10.3 billion

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgery.

Percentage of Americans who believe that the U.S. is either completely or somewhat responsible for the international financial crisis, according to a study conducted by HCD Research: 90

Source: HCD Research Inc.

Percentage of adult Americans who smoke, according to a poll conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index: 21

Percentage of today's smokers who earn less than $36,000 per year: 53

Source: Gallup.

Amount of money sent back to developing countries by migrants in the form of remittances in 2008, higher than the amount provided through foreign aid or foreign direct investment, according to World Bank figures: $283 billion

Source: FAO.

Percentage of U.S. households that take part in lawn and garden activities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 75

Percentage that grow flowers and plan their own landscaping: 33

Percentage that have vegetable gardens: 20

Percentage that grow their own herbs: 10

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of finance professionals who said that the Securities and Exchange Commission should soon establish a specific date that International Financial Reporting Standards would be required for U.S. public companies: 62

Percentage of respondents who support the movement toward a single set of high-quality global accounting standards: 75

Source: Deloitte LLP.

Idle Thought

"There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others." -- Michel de Montaigne, essayist

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