Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 17, 2009

Percentage of executives who said they consider their assistant's opinion important when evaluating potential new hires, according to a survey developed by OfficeTeam: 61

Percentage who said it was very important: 21

Source: OfficeTeam.

Percentage of Americans who view big government as the most serious threat to the country in the future, according to a Gallup Poll: 55

Percentage who see big business as the greatest threat: 32

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of parents who have made budgeting a new topic of conversation for the entire family, according to a study from CoolSavings.com: 33

Percentage who feel budgeting is not a conversation for kids: 8

Percentage who see it in a different light -- as an important life lesson: 78

Source: Q Interactive.

Average salary for an executive chef in 2008, according to StarChefs.com: $77,611

Average salary in 2009: $74,869

Percentage more that male executive chefs make than female executive chefs: 18

Source: StarChefs.com.

Percentage growth over 2007 in U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, according to results from the Organic Trade Association's "2009 Organic Industry Survey": 17.1

Percentage of all food products in the U.S. that are organic: 3.5

Source: Organic Trade Association.

Percentage of women who think they look younger than their actual age, according to a survey conducted by American Laser Centers: 58

Percentage of men who think they look younger than their actual age: 48

Percentage of women who said they would like to look younger than their actual age: 64

Percentage of men who said they would like to look younger: 51

Source: American Laser Services.

Estimated number of malware-infected computers (including corporate, government and consumer computers around the world) in a network discovered by Finjan's Malicious Code Research Center: 1.9 million

Number of government-owned domains (.gov) from the U.S., the United Kingdom and various other countries where computers were found to be compromised: 77

Number of people in the cybergang who control the Ukraine-based cybercrime server -- in use since February 2009 -- that's responsible for the malware: 6

Source: Finjan's Malicious Code Research Center.

Percentage of hourly hiring managers with responsibility to recruit summer employees who say the biggest competition for students trying to get an entry-level job this summer will come from other students: 54

Percentage who say this competition will come from workers who have recently entered the workforce because of economic pressures, up nine points from last year: 29

Average expected hourly pay for these workers (up 40 cents from the average amount reported in last year's survey): $10.20

Source: Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.

Percentage of the nation's home medical equipment and service providers that have formal plans to respond to a pandemic flu, according to a survey conducted by the American Association for Homecare: 53

Percentage that have stockpiled N95 masks or other supplies related to a flu pandemic: 23

Percentage that said they are working on a formal plan and expect to have one in place: 18

Source: American Association for Homecare.

Although the downturn in the economy has proven tough for workers, percentage of those still employed who say they're gaining more from the experience than just managing to keep their jobs, and cite at least one positive effect the recession has had for them, according to a survey by Accountemps: 77

Percentage who cite the ability to tackle new projects: 53

Percentage who have assumed additional responsibility: 52

Percentage who have taken on more challenging work: 52

Source: Accountemps.

Idle Thought

"The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind." -- Charles Darwin, naturalist and author

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