Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For November 25, 2012

Estimated average cost to a middle-income family to raise a child from birth through age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: $235,000

Percentage of families who are stressed about money: 80

Percentage of moms who are concerned about not having enough money to raise their children, a 10 percent increase from 2011: 70

Source: BabyCenter LLC.

Percentage of their time that chief financial officers say that, on average, supervisors spend overseeing poorly performing employees, according to a survey by Robert Half International: 26

Percentage of respondents who said a poor hiring decision at least somewhat impacts the morale of the team: 83

Of those, percentage who say morale is greatly affected: 56

Source: Robert Half.

Percentage of firms imposing Thanksgiving shifts this year that will pay workers only straight time for working on the holiday, with no extra pay or compensatory time off, according to the Bloomberg BNA survey of year-end holiday practices: 9

Though well over half of the establishments expecting holiday work will provide overtime pay, percentage that will pay double-time to workers who pull Thanksgiving shifts: 22

Source: Bloomberg.

Ranks of Sunday, Nov. 13 (59 percent), and Thursday, Dec. 1 (57 percent), on the list of days with the highest percentage of products on sale in 2011, according to a study by ShopAdvisor that tracked the prices of 252 toys: 1, 2

Percentage of toys selling at a premium price on Dec. 23, two days before Christmas: 40

Source: ShopAdvisor.

Percentage of interviewers who say receiving a thank-you note impacts their decision-making process, according to TheLadders' survey: 75

Percentage of interviewees who say they "rarely" or "never" send thank-you notes: 10

Source: TheLadders.

Percentage of girls who would choose a job in STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- vs. 32 percent of boys, according to findings of a study by Simmons College and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts: 10

Percentage of boys who say their parents would like them to have a job in STEM vs. 11 percent of all girls: 23

Percentage of all girls who agree with the statement, "Boys have more career options than girls": 27

Percentage of boys who agree: 35

Source: Simmons College.

Ranks of the moustaches of former "Magnum P.I." star Tom Selleck, silent film legend Charlie Chaplin and Burt Reynolds on the list of the most iconic "mo" in moustache history, according to Movember and SurveyMonkey: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of Tom Selleck and Johnny Depp on the list of the current famous persons with the best mo: 1, 2

Ranks of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on the list of U.S. presidents with the best facial follicles: 1, 2

Source: SurveyMonkey.

Ranks of Tuesday, Nov. 27, Monday, Nov. 26, and Wednesday, Nov. 28, on the list of the 10 lightest shopping days expected this holiday season in terms of foot traffic, thus presenting an opportunity for shoppers to secure the best customer service and potentially the best deals, according to ShopperTrak: 1, 2, 3

Source: ShopperTrak.

When consumers were asked whether they would rather receive a tablet computer or a laptop as a holiday gift this year, percentage who indicated that they would rather receive a tablet, according to the results of PriceGrabber's third winter holiday shopping survey: 59

Percentage of shoppers who also indicated that they believe tablet computers will replace e-readers as gifts this year: 71

Source: PriceGrabber.com.

Percentage of respondents who said they will use their smartphone to do research ahead of their shopping trips, according to a CouponCabin.com survey: 70

Percentage who will use it to do research in-store: 59

Source: CouponCabin.

Idle Thought

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people." -- Virginia Woolf

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