Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 22, 2015

Total amount of credit card debt in the U.S. -- a record and 47 percent more than in 2013 -- according to CardHub: $57.1 billion

Average household credit card balance: $7,200

Source: CardHub.

Percentage of teens who smoke, according to a study from Legacy for Health: 8

Percentage of 12th graders who say they have a strong interest in e-cigarettes: 17

Amount the tobacco industry spends a year on advertising and marketing its products: $8.8 billion

Source: Legacy.

Percentage of HR managers who say having a messy desk is a sign of a creative person, according to a survey by Office Team: 9

Percentage who said they would have to question an employee's organizational skills: 32

Percentage who said it is somewhat acceptable to have a messy desk: 68

Source: OfficeTeam.

Number of job cuts in the energy sector in the first two months of 2015, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas: 39,621

Percentage of all workforce reductions in the first two months of 2015 accounted for by the energy sector: 38

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Percentage of managers who feel "March Madness" activities in the workplace have a positive impact on employee morale, according to Robert Half International: 50

Percentage who say March Madness has a positive impact on employee productivity: 36

Source: Robert Half International.

Number of U.S. adults who qualify as "wealthy" -- those with at least $500,000 in annual household income (0.5 percent of the U.S. population), according to the Ipsos Affluent Survey USA: 1.9 million

Percentage of the wealthy who speak a non-English language at home: 21

Percentage who were born outside the U.S.: 15

Source: Ipsos Affluent Survey.

Median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: $37,791

Median annual earnings of men: $49,398

Amount that female, year-round, full-time workers earned in 2012 for every dollar their male counterparts earned: 77 cents

Of all college students, percentage who are women: 56.8

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Compared to their peers, number of times more likely 4-H participants in grades seven to 12 are to make contributions to their communities, according to a 4-H study: 4

Number of times they are more likely to make healthier choices: 2

Number of times they are more likely to participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs during out-of-school time: 2

Source: National 4-H Council.

Percentage of parents with children under 7 who admit to letting their child spend time on the Internet while they are not in the room, according to a study from AVG Technologies: 64

Percentage who are currently using any kind of restricted profile or kid zones on their children's devices -- despite 82 percent being aware of the option: 26

Percentage of respondents who admit they feel under pressure to buy their children the latest technology: 40

Source: AVG Technologies.

When recent college graduates were asked what they look for in a new job, percentage who said a company that provides "a good work-life balance," according to a survey by CareerBuilder.com: 65

Percentage who said a company that "provides good learning opportunities": 51

Percentage who said a company that "provides nice perks (catered lunch, concierge services, etc.)": 32

Percentage who said a company that "is a startup": 15

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Idle Thought

"To move freely you must be deeply rooted." -- Bella Lewitsky, dancer

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