Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For September 04, 2011

Rank of Betty White on the list of America's favorite and most trusted personalities, and the one whose endorsement of a company would be most likely to drive business, according to an Ipsos poll: 1

Ranks of Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks: 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Paris Hilton, Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears and Kanye West on the list of the most unpopular celebrities: 1, 2, 3 (tie)

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Estimated number of times an area the size of Disneyland would be covered by towels laid down by holiday-makers to reserve sun loungers this summer, according to research by Virgin Holidays: 3

Number of hours of holiday time spent each year searching for a spare sun lounger by the pool or beach: 1.8 million

Percentage of those who couldn't find a sun-bed who said it was because the beds were pre-reserved with a towel: 62

Source: Virgin Holidays.

Percentage of workers who described their direct supervisor's performance as poor or very poor: 20

Rank of "plays favorites," "doesn't follow through on what he/she promises" and "doesn't listen to concerns" on the list of workers' top concerns about management: 1, 2, 3

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of high school students who wished that their current high school offered financial literacy courses for them and their families to prepare for college costs, according to a study by the College Savings Foundation: 52

Percentage of students planning to borrow to go to college who have projected the total amount they will have to borrow: 30

Percentage who have projected the total monthly loan repayment amount that they will have to pay after graduation: 22

Source: College Savings Foundation.

Estimated number of U.S. adults who pay their bills late, according to a 2009 National Foundation for Credit Counseling survey: 58 million

Amount consumers spent in credit card bill late fees in 2009: $20 billion

Source: Javelin Strategy & Research.

Percentage of middle-income baby boomers between ages 47 and 65 with income between $25,000 and $75,000 who have not seen any rebound in the value of their retirement accounts, according to a study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement: 21

Percentage who report owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth: 16

Percentage who have less than $10,000 in retirement savings: 19

Source: Bankers Life and Casualty Co.

Percentage of workers who wish that they had more skills -- "hard" skills such as a degree or knowledge of a trade or industry and/or "soft" skills such as emotional, social, leadership and organizational intelligence, according to a survey for Randstad: 62

Percentage of employed adults who would be willing to take at least one step to get the skills needed for a better job: 64

When asked how much they would be willing to pay out of pocket for continued education or training, percentage of all employed adults who said that they wouldn't be willing to spend any of their own money: 48

Source: Randstad-USA.

Percentage of high school students who begin their college search as early as sophomore year, according to a study by Eduventures Inc. (The College Bound Market Update): 42

Mean number of applications made by high school students in their search: 7.3

Percentage of students who apply to 10 or more colleges and universities: 20

Source: Eduventures.

Percentage of Americans who interpret the Bible literally, saying it is the actual word of God, according to a Gallup poll: 30

Percentage of Americans who say the Bible is the inspired word of God, but that it should not be taken literally: 49

Source: Gallup Organization.

Percentage of business leaders who believe a 1 percent pricing improvement can boost profits, according to a poll by Deloitte: 82

When describing their companies' current pricing management, percentage of leaders who indicated that their company doesn't pursue pricing management strategically: 22

Source: Deloitte Financial Advisory Services.

Idle Thought

"It is not what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable." -- Moliere

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