Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For November 01, 2015

Percentage of the U.S. workforce that is out on family or medical leave on any given day, according to a survey by ComPsych: 10

Average time off on FMLA: 14.2 days

Ranks of surgery, pregnancy and bonding with a new child as the top three reasons for family or medical leave: 1, 2, 3

Source: ComPsych Corp.

Percentage of Americans who think it is unacceptable for employers to fire people for doing something that is not illegal outside of work, according to a survey by YouGov: 54

Percentage of Americans who say they have been fired or otherwise lost their job at some point: 37

Percentage who said they deserved it: 27

Source: YouGov.

Of workers who currently have a minimum-wage job or have held one in the past, percentage who said they couldn't make ends meet, according to a survey by CareerBuilder: 65

Percentage who said they had to work more than one job to make ends meet: 49

Percentage of workers at all salary levels who were not able to make ends meet during the past year: 19

Percentage of all workers who say they're in debt: 65

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Year over year percentage increase in average holiday gift purchases by the wealthiest 10 percent of U.S. households, according to a survey by the American Affluence Research Center: 4

Estimated total gift purchases by these affluent households: $33 billion

Average holiday gift purchases estimated for each of the affluent households: $2,749

Average holiday gift purchases estimated for the average U.S. household: $687

Source: American Affluence Research Center.

Percentage of Americans who said "they were more scared of outliving their assets than they were of dying": 61

Percentage of people between the ages of 44 and 49 who said the same: 77

Percentage of those in their late 40s who had dependents who said the same: 82

Source: Convergex.

Ranks of Stephen King, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling and John Grisham on the list of America's favorite authors, according to a Harris poll: 1, 2, 3, 4

When asked which types of books (from a provided list) they've read over the last year, percentage of Americans who indicate that they've been filling their book bags with mystery, thriller and crime novels: 47

Percentage who have been flipping through history books: 33

Percentage who have been reading biographies/memoirs: 31

Percentage who enjoyed romance novels: 27

Source: The Harris Poll.

Percentage of non-IT professionals who say the technology field holds appeal for them, according to a Robert Half Technology survey: 75

Percentage who say what attracts them is the salary potential and job opportunities: 38

Percentage who said the appealing culture: 13

Source: Robert Half Technology.

Percentage of millennials (those born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s) who say they are "concerned" about their delay in saving and investing for retirement: 40

Percentage of millennials who have delayed the purchase of a home: 29

Percentage who have postponed a major purchase, such as an automobile: 26

Percentage who have had to return home to live with their parents: 19

Source: Investor Protection Institute.

Percentage of organizations that are in the process of transitioning their business-to-business payments from paper checks to electronic payments, according to research by the Association for Financial Professionals: 80

Percentage of organizations that would replace paper checks with electronic payments if there was a cost benefit of doing so: 66

Source: Association for Financial Professionals.

Idle Thought

"Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels but they live like men." -- Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

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