Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 23, 2015

Average hourly wage for manufacturing jobs, according to the Manufacturing Institute: $34

Percentage of parents who think the average hourly wage for manufacturing jobs is $22 an hour or less, according to a survey conducted for the Alcoa Foundation in partnership with the nonprofit SkillsUSA: 89

Rank of manufacturing workers on the list of workers with the highest job tenure in the private sector: 1

Source: SkillsUSA.

Percentage of Americans who say two is the ideal number of children for a family to have, according to Gallup: 48

When Gallup asked why couples aren't having more kids, percentage of Americans, whether with or without children, who cited the costs associated with raising a child: 65

Average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 (up from $198,560 in 1960), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: $245,340

Source: Gallup Organization.

Percentage of students who say they exclusively prefer print course materials because of the usability and familiarity of print (despite a likely higher price tag), according to the National Association of College Stores: 46

Source: NACS.

Percentage of Americans who do not know the combined total credit limit of their credit cards, according to a survey conducted by LendingTree: 42

Percentage who do not know the highest annual percentage rate of their credit cards: 58

Percentage of card-carrying Americans who pay credit card interest without even knowing what the interest payments are: 20

Source: Lending Tree.

Percentage of parents who say they are looking forward to children getting back to school, according to a survey by RetailMeNot.com: 90

Percentage who are looking forward to the extra time to themselves: 36

Percentage who are eager to return to a more routine budget: 36

Source: RetailMeNot.com.

Estimated number of miles Americans have driven over the last 12 months, according to Convergex: 3.1 trillion

Estimated number of round trips to the sun (93 million miles away) this represents: 15,000

Averaging 3.1 trillion miles per year, the number of years it would take to reach the nearest star: 8

Source: Convergex.

Percentage of convenience store retailers who say they sell fresh fruits and vegetables, according to NACS member survey: 77

Percentage who sell packaged salads: 57

Percentage growth in the sales of fresh fruits and vegetables in convenience stores -- nearly four times the overall 2.7 percent growth rate of produce sales in the United States in 2014, according to Nielsen data: 10.3

Source: National Association of Convenience Stores.

Year that the U.S. Postal Service issued the first stamps -- before which there were no uniform stamps, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1847

Year that the Postal Service introduced the ZIP code to help speed mail service: 1963

That year, number of pieces of mail the service handled: 68 billion

Number of pieces of mail handled annually today: 155 billion

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Among Americans with children under 18 at home during the summer months, percentage who say their children consume more movies, according to the results of a Harris Poll: 53

Percentage of these parents who say their children watch more television during the summer: 52

According to parents, ranks of playing outdoors and swimming among their children's most enjoyed summer activities: 1, 2

Source: The Harris Poll.

Percentage of households with school-age children who plan to spend the same amount or more than last year for back-to-school supplies, according to Meijer survey results: 75

Percentage of students who will be helping with school expenses (up from 33 percent in 2014): 40

Source: Meijer.

Idle Thought

"Every student needs someone who says, simply, "You mean something. You count." -- Tony Kushner, playwright

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