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Time wasted in traffic costs U.S. economy $78B yearly

Number of hours Americans waste each year sitting in traffic, according to a Texas Transportation Institute report: 4.2 billion

Estimated cost to the U.S. economy: $78 billion

Source: American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Percentage of Americans who say the television program that most resembles their work environment is "The Office," according to a survey by 53

Percentage who said "ER": 23

Percentage who said "The Apprentice": 13


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Percentage of U.S. employees who say that a suit is the only appropriate attire for a video resume, according to a study conducted by Vault Inc.: 65

Percentage who say business casual is the best option: 31

Percentage of U.S. employees who say that the most important facet of a video resume is to present a professional demeanor: 34

Source: Vault Inc.

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Percentage of employers who say retaining and motivating employees is important, according to Randstad's annual "World of Work" survey: 76

Yet the percentage who say they would rather hire someone externally rather than train or promote current workers to replace departing retirees: 72

Source: Randstad-USA.

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Size of the Hispanic population of the United States (does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico), according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 44.3 million

Rank of the size of the U.S. Hispanic population worldwide, as of 2005: 3

Ranks of the sizes of the Hispanic populations of Mexico and Colombia: 1, 2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

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Percentage of small business owners who say they started their business to have more flexibility with time or to be more independent, according to a survey conducted by Discover Financial Services: 46

Percentage who say they wanted to make more money: 19

Source: Discover Financial Services.

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Percentage of American workers who ranked an overwhelming unease over large future expenses, such as retirement and children's education, as their primary concern, according to the "Labor Happiness Survey": 44

Source: Zogby International.

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Ranks of Hawaii, New York and Alaska as the most expensive (measured by wage costs, tax burden, electricity costs, industrial rent costs and office

rent) states for businesses, according to the Milken Institute's "Cost-of-Doing-Business Index": 1, 2, 3

Rank of South Dakota, Iowa and North Dakota as the least expensive states in which to do business: 1, 2, 3

Source: Milken Institute.

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Ranks of California, Florida and Hawaii as the most popular states where people would choose to live, according to a poll by Harris: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of New York City, San Diego and Seattle as the most popular cities where people choose to live: 1, 2, 3

Source: Harris Interactive.

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In 2005, the percentage of retail e-marketers who provided e-mail opt-out links that led recipients to a preference page to make actual changes to their subscriptions, according to a survey by Silverpop: 12

Percentage who do so today: 32

Source: Silverpop Systems Inc.

John MacIntyre has been writing Figuratively Speaking since 1989. You can contact him by e-mail at