Figuratively Speaking For September 14, 2018

Percentage of America's blue-collar workers who see their lives heading "in the right direction," according to a study conducted by the Harris Poll and commissioned by Express Employment Professionals: 85

Percentage of these workers who are proud of their work: 91

Percentage who are satisfied with their jobs: 86

Percentage who say their jobs provide a good living: 80

Source: The Harris Poll.

Rank of actuarial science on the list of the most valuable college majors, based on salary, unemployment rate and career path that does not demand schooling beyond a bachelor's degree, according to a report: 1

Average annual salary earned by actuarial science majors (ninth overall): $108,658

Rank of petroleum engineering on the list of the most financially lucrative degrees: 1


Percentage of employers who use social networking sites to research job candidates, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey: 70

Of those that do social research, percentage who have found content that caused them to not hire candidates: 57


Percentage of HR professionals who say that compared to three years ago, contingent, or "gig," workers now make up a larger percentage of their professional workforce, according to survey by Korn Ferry: 60

Percentage who say they plan on hiring more gig workers in the future: 42

Ranks of "access to resources for short-term projects" and "expertise we don't have in-house" on the list of the top two reasons given for hiring gig workers: 1, 2

Source: Korn Ferry International.

Number of pet-owning households in the United States, according to Packaged Facts: 67 million

Source: Packaged Facts.

Percentage of Americans who agree that apprenticeships -- or "earn while learning" vocational opportunities -- make people more employable than going to college, according to a survey by American Staffing Association: 62

Percentage who say college degrees aren't worth what they used to be: 69

Percentage who say learning a trade is better for finding a job than a bachelor's degree: 68

Source: American Staffing Association.

Percentage of workers with lower incomes who agreed that preparing for retirement makes them feel stressed, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute report: 64

Among workers who have not calculated how much they will need to save for retirement, percentage who are stressed: 65

Percentage of those in fair or poor health who are stressed: 75

Source: EBRI.

Percentage of Americans who say that saving for vacations is a low priority, according to a survey by CIT Bank: 43

Percentage who say that vacation saving is not a priority at all: 25

Percentage of Americans who go on vacations each year, with the majority spending up to $5,000: 77

Source: CIT Bank.

Percentage of people surveyed by who found it "extremely," "very" or "quite" inconvenient to cater for their non-meat-eating friends: 25

Percentage of people who now describe their diet as "meat-free" (pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan): 30

Percentage rise in veganism since 2006, when less than 5 percent of the population described themselves as vegan or vegetarian: 350


Percentage of Americans who think people in their country trust politicians to tell the truth less than they did 30 years ago, according to an Ipsos study: 69

Percentage of Americans who are confident they can identify "fake news" (which was defined as entirely made-up stories or facts) from real news: 65

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Idle Thought

"When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear." -- Mark Twain

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at

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