Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For September 20, 2009

Percentage of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months who said they have changed their appearance to make themselves more attractive to potential employers, according to a survey by CareerBuilder: 28

Percentage who have changed their hair color or hairstyle: 8

Percentage who are dressing to appear younger: 5


Percentage of Americans who owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth, according to the Bankrate Financial Literacy series on Families and Finance: 25

Percentage of Americans who aren't sure how they'll save enough for retirement: 70

Percentage who fret about their ability to afford college for a family member: 50

Source: Bankrate Inc.

Average tuition, room and board (for in-state students) at the nation's four-year public colleges and universities for an entire academic year (2007-08), according to the U.S. Census Bureau: $14,915

Average tuition, room and board at the nation's four-year private colleges and universities for one academic year (2007-08) -- more than double the 1990 figure: $40,640

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of U.S. workers who are simply happy to have a job, according to survey by 24

Percentage of U.S. workers who are happy because they gain personal satisfaction at work: 41


When American adults were asked their opinion on what was the best way to improve kindergarten through 12th grade education in the U.S. today, percentage who said quality teachers/better educated/more involvement/caring, according to a Gallup Poll: 17

Percentage who said we should go back to the basic curriculum (reading, writing, arithmetic): 10

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of U.S. adults who have given away more than 10 percent of their belongings because these were no longer needed, according to a Zogby Interactive poll: 22

Percentage who said they purposefully gave things away in the past year because they have too much: 17

Percentage who said they have a normal amount of belongings, and when they become useless, they give those things away: 60

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of respondents who admit to having used a cell phone to text or e-mail while driving in the last 12 months, according to the results of a CarGurus survey of automotive consumers worldwide: 52

Number of states that already have laws barring texting while driving: 14

Source: CarGurus LLC.

Percentage of American workers who are currently unsatisfied with their compensation as a result of pay cuts, lack of bonuses or stagnant salaries, according to the Adecco USA Workplace Insights survey: 66

Percentage of American workers who are not satisfied with their company's overall retention efforts: 87

Source: Adecco.

When asked what thoughts crossed their minds when making decisions to purchase food or household and personal products on their most recent grocery shopping trip, percentage of global consumers who indicated value for the money, according to findings from a study conducted by Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods: 64

Source: Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods Sector.

Percentage of a senior-level accountant's time that chief financial officers (CFOs) predict will be spent five years from now on issues outside of traditional accounting functions, according to a Robert Half Management Resources survey: 40

Source: Robert Half Management Resources.

Idle Thought

"No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be." -- Isaac Asimov

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)