$172,000: Average salary offered to family physician recruits, according to a report from Merritt, Hawkins and Associates.

$185,000: Average salary offered to recruit nurses trained in administering anesthesia, known as CRNAs.

$439,000: Average salary offered to orthopedic surgeons in 2008.

$401,000: Average salary offered to radiologists in 2008.

Source: Merritt, Hawkins and Associates


90: Percentage of men surveyed who indicated that they are comfortable dating someone who earns significantly more than they do (an increase of 10 percent since the 2004 results), according to Spike TV's State of Men 2008 survey.

75: Percentage of men who said that they are comfortable dating someone significantly older than they are.

Source: Spike TV


10.3 billion: Number of trips that Americans took on public transportation in 2007, according to a study conducted by the American Public Transportation Association.

1957: Last year in which Americans took this many trips on public transportation in a single year.

Source: American Public Transportation Association


1: Rank of Heinz ketchup as the overall winning brand based on six base measures, including: familiarity, quality, purchase consideration, brand expectations, distinctiveness and trust, according to the 2008 results from EquiTrend, the annual brand-equity study in its 28th year.

2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Ranks of M&M plain chocolate candy, Hershey's milk chocolate candy bars, Hershey's kisses, Duracell batteries and Cheerios cereal on the list.

Source: Harris Interactive


43: Percentage of American credit card holders who say they always pay off the full balance on their cards each month, according to a Gallup Poll.

25: Percentage who acknowledge that they usually leave a balance.

12: Percentage who say they usually pay only the minimum amount due each month.

Source: Gallup


38: Percentage of business meetings where the agenda is clear, followed and focused, according to Proudfoot Consulting's business review findings.

13: Percentage where an action plan is clear, reviewed and decided.

12: Percentage of meetings that establish clear responsibility for upcoming actions and due dates.

11: Percentage where there is follow-up on assignments/evaluation.

Source: Proudfoot Consulting


61: Percentage of employed executives with an average annual salary of more than $206,000 who are satisfied or very satisfied with their current job, according to a survey conducted by ExecuNet.

1, 2, 3, 4 (tie): Ranks of limited advancement opportunities (12.8 percent), lack of challenge/personal growth (12.3 percent), compensation (11.7 percent), stress level (7.7 percent) and job security (7.7 percent) as the top five reasons cited by executives who are unhappy at work.

Source: ExecuNet


41: Percentage of Americans who are planning on taking a vacation with their family this summer, according to a survey conducted by Zoomerang for Country Inns and Suites By Carlson Inc.

31: Percentage who noted they will not take a trip this summer, citing budgetary concerns.

57: Percentage of respondents who said the expense of today's family vacations was the biggest difference between the vacations that people took when they were kids.

Source: Carlson Hotels Worldwide


25 to 30: Percentage of the commercial aircraft assembly backlog at Boeing and Airbus that could be at risk as high fuel prices continue to batter airlines, according to Aviation Week and Space Technology.

12: Percentage of their backlogs that are accounted for by U.S. airlines, the hardest-hit segment of the industry.

Source: Aviation Week


John MacIntyre has been writing Figuratively Speaking since 1989. You can contact him by e-mail at johnmacintyre@bwr.eastlink.ca.