Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 18, 2015

Median number of vacation days available to employed Europeans, according to the results of a survey by Expedia: 28

Approximate number of vacation days available to U.S. workers: 15

Approximate number of vacation days taken by U.S. workers: 14

Percentage of Americans who feel "very" or "somewhat" vacation deprived: 54

Source: Expedia.

Ranks of saving more (55 percent), paying off debt (20 percent) and spending less (17) percent) on the list of top three financial resolutions, according to The Fidelity New Year Financial Resolutions Study: 1, 2, 3

Of those who say they made a resolution at the start of 2014, percentage who now feel they are better off financially: 51

Of those who did not make a resolution, percentage who can say the same: 38

Source: Fidelity Investments.

Percentage of Americans who say colleges should treat student-athletes as amateurs who compete primarily for love of the sport and educational opportunities -- and that they should not be compensated beyond scholarships, according to a national survey by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute: 50

Percentage of people who say that the focus of college sports should be opportunities to participate: 71

Percentage who say that the focus should be producing the highest level of play possible: 30

Source: Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

On Billionaire.com's top 10 list of the world's most expensive properties, number for sale that are in the United States: 5

Ranks of The Manor, Los Angeles ($150 million), Beverly House, Los Angeles ($135 million) and Rancho San Carlos, California ($125 million), as the three most expensive properties in the U.S.: 1, 2, 3

Source: Billionaire.com.

Percentage of workers who stated that communicating the value of their work to company leadership was difficult, according to a survey commissioned by AtTask: 55

Ranks of conflicting priorities (29 percent) and lack of communication or miscommunication (22 percent) on the list of the most common sources of conflict with other departments, groups or teams: 1, 2

Percentage of workers who say lost productivity is among the most common consequences of conflict with other teams: 39

Source: AtTask.

Percentage of executives who say their businesses will expand in 2015, according to a survey conducted by Korn/Ferry: 74

Source: Korn/Ferry International.

In the U.S., percentage of people over age 5 who speak a language other than English at home, according to the Census Bureau: 21

Number of people this percentage represents: 61 million

Of those, number who speak Spanish, the most widely spoken non-English language: 37 million

Number who speak several Chinese variants: 2.8 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Ranks of Facebook Messenger (53 percent) and Skype (45 percent) as the preferred application among messaging app users, according to Parks Associates: 1, 2

Source: Parks Associates.

Percentage of small business owners who choose alternative financing options over traditional bank loans, according to a study of small business owners conducted by Merchant Cash and Capital: 40

Percentage who received cash loans from family and friends: 33

Source: Merchant Cash and Capital.

Date that President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law, according to Harris Interactive: Dec. 28, 1973

Percentage drop in population sizes of vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010, according to the World Wildlife Fund: 50

Percentage of adults who believe that variety among life-forms on Earth, also known as biodiversity, is important to the well-being of humans: 90

Source: Harris Interactive.

Idle Thought

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet

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