Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For June 19, 2011

Percentage of full-time employees who consider themselves to be overqualified for their job, according to an Ipsos Public Affairs-Randstad survey: 33

When it comes to how well workers' education prepared them for their current position, percentage of respondents who said that while their education helped, they learned most of their skills on the job: 50

Percentage who reported that their education completely prepared them for their current job: 21

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

In the past year, percentage of Americans who have made an economically driven change that could impact the cost of their car insurance, according to a survey released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners: 53

Percentage of respondents who are driving less overall and/or taking public transportation more frequently: 40

Percentage of car owners who traded in a vehicle for a lower-priced model or got rid of a second vehicle entirely: 20

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Percentage of drivers who do not know where to find the correct inflation pressure for their vehicle's tires, according to a survey by the Rubber Manufacturers Association: 62

Percentage of drivers who do not know that tires should be checked "cold" -- before driving: 43

Percentage who do not know how to tell if their tires are bald: 52

Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Percentage of Americans who said they'd like to have Vince Lombardi or Oprah coach them through their trials and tribulations -- someone who would provide encouragement, give incentives and push them hard, according to an Anthem Blue Cross survey: 25

Source: Blue Cross.

During the past 12 months, percentage of American adults on a diet who were successful in losing weight, according to a national survey by the Calorie Control Council: 45

Percentage of these dieters who were unable to keep the weight off past six months: 66

Over a 12-month period, percentage of all dieters who attempted two or more weight-loss efforts: 50

Source: Calorie Control Council.

Ranks of vitamins, protein, minerals, fiber, omega 3 and antioxidants on the list of benefits consumers value most from their foods, according to a global study conducted by Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Source: Ipsos Marketing, Global Consumer Goods Sector.

Percentage of Americans who say taking a vacation away from where they live this year is important, although most anticipate they will have to spend more on transportation costs than they did last summer, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll: 60

Percentage who said they will "travel less" this summer: 29

Percentage of Americans who mentioned gas prices as the most important problem facing the country today: 8

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of Americans who believe the U.S. has made real progress on economic opportunity, saying the country is doing a better job now at creating equal opportunity across ethnic and racial lines than when they were younger, according to the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll: 55

Source: Allstate Insurance Co.

Percentage of parents of 2- to 12-year-old children in the U.S. who agree that spending more time at a community playground increases a family's sense of well-being, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Foresters: 77

Percentage of parents who agree that the more time a family spends together being active, the better their sense of family well-being: 95

Source: Foresters.

Ranks of Brazil, Uruguay and Chile on the list of top-ranked developing countries for global retail expansion, according to the Global Retail Development Index released by A.T. Kearney: 1, 2, 3

Rank of Peru on the list: 8

Average 2010 percentage GDP growth in South American countries: 6

Source: A.T. Kearney.

Idle Thought

"A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away." -- Charles M. Schwab

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