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How r u? The way we communicate is rapidly evolving, as evidenced by the fact that the number of text messages sent on cell phones has more than doubled from 48 billion in 2007 to 110 billion in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010.
The Statistical Abstract, aka “Uncle Sam’s Almanac,” perennially the federal government’s best-selling reference book, has been published since 1878 — before automobiles, airplanes and motion pictures had even been invented. Contained in the 129th edition are more than 1,400 tables of social, political and economic facts which collectively describe the state of our nation and the world. Included are 53 new tables, covering topics such as worldwide space launch events this decade, the use of complementary and alternative medicine, the type of work flexibility provided to employees, employment status of veterans and road fatalities by country.
Don’t read all about it …
—The number of daily newspapers declined from 1,480 in 2000 to 1,408 in 2008. Likewise, the average number of daily newspapers sold dropped from 55.8 million copies in 2000 to 48.6 million in 2008. (Table 1098)
Surfing … at the library
—In 2007, the nation’s 16,604 libraries collectively had an average of 12.5 public-use computers connected to the Internet per library. In Florida libraries there were an average of 24.4 computers and in Maryland libraries there were an average of 19.4 public-use computers connected to the Internet and were well above the U.S. average. At the other extreme, Vermont and Maine libraries each had averages of 4.7 and 4.9 Internet-connected computers per public library.
Can you hear me now?
—In 2007, the average consumer spent $1,110 on telephone services.
Residential telephone and pay phone services made up 43 percent of total expenditures, with cell phone service comprising 55 percent and phone cards and pager services making up the remaining 2 percent.
—In 2008, there were more than 270 million cell phone subscribers; they paid an average monthly bill of $50 with the average call lasting 2.5 minutes.
Armed and dangerous
—In 2007, 6 percent of all students reported carrying a weapon on school property at least once during the previous month: 10.2 percent of males and 2.6 percent of females.
—Violent crime per 100,000 population decreased from a rate of 597 in 1980 to 467 in 2007. Property crime per 100,000 population decreased from a rate of 5,353 in 1980 to 3,264 in 2007.
The economic downturn
—In 2008, 8,263 mass layoff events were reported — up from 5,363 in 2007.
This situation occurs when an employer has at least 50 unemployment insurance claims lasting at least 31 days filed against them.
—The value of private construction put in place decreased from $850.1 billion in 2007 to $766.6 billion in 2008.
—In 2008, retail sales decreased for the first time in this decade: from a high of $3,995 trillion in 2007 to $3,960 trillion.
—Sales of consumer electronics are expected to drop nearly 8 percent in 2009, from a total of $178 billion in 2008 to a projected $165 billion.
gotta play to win … and you gotta eat
—Despite the economic downturn, we’re gambling and eating out more …
—Lottery sales increased from $52.4 billion in 2007 to $53.4 billion in 2008, with $30.4 billion in sales for instant scratch-off tickets.
—Revenues from food and drinking places rose from $438 billion in 2007 to $453 billion in 2008.
— In 2008, 37% of employers allowed all or most employees to periodically change starting and quitting times. 8% of employees were permitted to compress the workweek by working longer hours on fewer days, 8% to share jobs, 57% to return to work gradually after childbirth or adoption.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103