Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For May 23, 2010

Percentage of office workers who described their workplace restrooms as "always being super-clean," according to the results of a survey conducted by Infogroup/ORC on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional: 38

Percentage who described visiting the restroom as "a 50-50 gamble -- sometimes clean, other times a disaster": 26

Source: Kapnek Communications.

Percentage of employees today who say that one of their pet peeves at work is having to deal with people with poor time-management skills, according to a survey byRandstad survey: 43

Percentage who say that dealing with gossip is a problem: 36

Percentage of employees who say that messiness in communal spaces is their pet peeve: 25

Percentage who are bothered by loud noises such as speaker phones, loud talkers and ring tones: 21

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Percentage of Americans who say there is a God who answers prayers, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll: 83

Percentage of respondents who reject the notion that prayer is effective only if done regularly: 75

Percentage of Americans who disagree with the idea that prayer works only for those who hold certain religious beliefs: 80

Source: Gallup.

Average number of TV sets per household in the U.S., up from 2.86 sets per home in 2009, the largest year-over-year increase since 2006, according to Nielsen's Television Audience Report: 2.93

Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 55

Average number of people per home in which there's a TV (carrying on the trend of more TVs per home than people): 2.5

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Of businesses founded in 2004 and tracked over their early years of existence, number that survived 2008, according to a Kauffman Foundation study: 2,606

Increase in the number of employees by surviving employer firms from 4.6 employees in 2004: 2.1

Percentage of firms that had revenues greater than $100,000 by 2008, compared with just 21 percent in 2004: 33

Percentage of the total firms that are high-technology businesses: 5.6

Percentage four-year survival rate of these high-tech firms: 91

Percentage four-year survival rate for non-high-tech firms: 61

Source: Kaufman Foundation.

Ranks of financial rewards and incentives, training and development opportunities, and brand affiliation as the key tools retail executives cite to motivate and retain top talent, according to the Deloitte/National Retail Federation Survey: 1, 2, 3

Source: Deloitte.

Percentage of Americans over age 65 who will need long-term care at home or through adult day health care, or care in an assisted living facility or nursing home, according to Genworth's 2010 Cost of Care Surve: 66

Median annual rate for a private nursing home room in 2005: $60,225

Median annual rate today: $75,190.

Source: Genworth Financial.

Percentage of Americans who have a negative reaction to the word "militia," according to the findings of a national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: 65

Percentage of respondents who have a negative reaction to the word "socialism," though 29 percent react positively: 59

Percentage who have a negative reaction to the word "capitalism," though 52 percent react positively: 37

Percentage who have a negative reaction to the words "family values": 9 (89 percent react positively)

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

Percentage of Americans who do not agree that illegal aliens are entitled to the same rights and basic freedoms as U.S. citizens, according to a Zogby Interactive poll: 79

Percentage of Americans who want major reform in immigration policy: 72

Percentage who favor guest-worker programs: 71

Source: Zogby International.

Year (by presidential proclamation) that May was selected to recognize one of the nation's fastest-growing population groups -- those of Asian and Pacific American heritage: 1978

Today, number of people in the U.S. who are of Asian heritage, about 5 percent of the total population: 15.5 million

Percentage of the population of Hawaii that is Asian: 54

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of active employment-based individual account retirement-plan assets that are owned by families with white, non-Hispanic heads of households, according to a study released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI): 85.1

Percentage of these active employment-based retirement assets that are owned by families in the top 10 percent of net worth: 50

Percentage of all financial assets that are held by these families: 50

Source: EBRI.

Idle Thought

"One cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other department. Life is one indivisible whole." -- Mohandas Gandhi

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