Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 23, 2014

Estimated percentage of all U.S. employees who spend three hours or more watching March Madness hoops during the workday, according to a survey by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas of Chicago conducted by MSN: 33

Estimated value of work not performed during the first two days of the tourney: $134 million

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Number of NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games to be played in 21 days during March Madness, according to RetailMeNot Inc.: 67

Average amount of money a fan is willing to spend vs. the average amount of money a fan of a Sweet 16-bound team is willing to spend: $40 vs. $85

Ranks of clothing, accessories, and kitchen and bar items on the list of most popular spending items: 1, 2, 3

Source: RetailMeNot.com.

Parents' estimates of sleep time for their children ages 6 to 10, according to findings from the National Sleep Foundation's (NSF) Sleep in America 2014 poll: 8.9 hours

NSF recommendation for children 6 to 10: 11 hours

Parents' estimates for 11- and 12-year-olds: 8.2 hours

NSF recommendation: 10 to 11 hours

Percentage of parents who understand that quality sleep is extremely or very important for their child's performance in school, health and well-being, mood and behavior the next day: 90

Source: National Sleep Foundation.

Percentage of early baby boomers who will not run short of money in retirement, according to an analysis of the EBRI retirement readiness ratings: 56.7

Percentage of Gen Xers who will not run short of money in retirement: 57.7

Source: EBRI.

Size of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2012, nearly six times the population in 1970 and a 50 percent increase since 2000, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data: 53,027,708

Percentage increase in the overall U.S. population from 2000 to 2012: 12

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of adolescents who start smoking who do so because of smoking images they have seen in the movies, according to research funded by Legacy: 44

By eliminating tobacco imagery in youth-rated movies, estimated projected percentage decline in youth smoking rates: 18

Estimated number of tobacco impressions (tobacco incidents multiplied by number of tickets sold per film) in 2013 youth-rated movies that were delivered to theater audiences, a 169 percent increase from 2010: 14.8 billion

Source: Legacy.

Percentage of small and mid-sized businesses that have loyalty programs, according to the Merchant Warehouse Resource Center study, which focuses on the benefits of loyalty programs for business owners: 40

Percentage of consumers who say that their choice of retailer is influenced by where they can earn customer loyalty/rewards program points: 69

Source: Merchant Warehouse.

Ranks of the Caribbean, Italy, French Polynesia, Thailand and China on the list of the five most popular international honeymoon destinations, according to Jetsetter.com: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Rank of a free-standing, claw-foot tub in the bedroom on the list of best special requests: 1

Source: Jetsetter.com.

Percentage of parents with kids in elementary school who have traveled by air to a sun destination within the last three years or plan on doing so who are willing to pull their kids out of the classroom for a week or longer for a family vacation, according to the Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Tripcentral.ca: 80

Percentage of parents with kids in high school who are willing to do the same: 70

Source: Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.

In 2010, percentage of executives who said they viewed March Madness activities, including watching games and participating in pools that don't involve money, as having an adverse effect on employee output, according to an OfficeTeam survey: 22

Today, percentage of respondents who retain that same negative view: 11

Source: OfficeTeam.

Idle Thought

"Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you." -- Aldous Huxley, author

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