LookingBack Sept. 5

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

On this Labor Day Eve, here is a look at work, jobs, unemployment and such.


* The number of Americans age 16 and older in the work force as of May 2010 was 154.4 million.

* Of full-time workers between the ages of 18 and 64, 83 percent were covered by health insurance all or part of the year in 2008.

* As one of their employee benefits, 78 percent of workers in private industry receive paid vacation.

* There are 7.6 million Americans who hold down more than one job. Of those, 284,000 work two full-time jobs.

* The employment decline between September 2008 and September 2009 was 5.3 percent.

* Of the country's 334 largest counties (employment levels of 75,000 or more), 329 have seen employment declines since September 2008.

* In July 2010, there were 14.6 million unemployed people in the U.S. Of that number, 6.6 million reported being without a job for 27 or more weeks.

* The occupation expected to add the most jobs from 2006 to 2016 is that of the registered nurse.

* The average time it takes a worker in America to reach the job place is 25.5 minutes. Of those who drive, 78 percent travel alone.


* Australia -- Vacation time is not legally required but 28 days is standard.

* Austria -- Workers are legally allowed 35 days annually for vacation. Older workers are granted 42 days.

* Brazil -- Thirty consecutive days of vacation is legally required. Ten of those days can be sold back to the employer.

* China -- No vacation days are required and few, if any, are given.

* Finland -- Workers are given 35 vacation days annually.

* France -- The most generous vacation leave of any country in the world, French workers are given seven weeks off with pay.

* Israel -- Uniformly, workers are granted 14 days of paid vacation.

* Romania -- The minimum number of vacation days is 20.

* Spain -- Workers are allowed 30 calendar days of vacation each year.

* United States -- Vacation time for workers in the U.S. is not required. The standard however is 7 to 21 days, including national holidays.


* According to the 1880 U.S. Census, 30,000 people listed their occupation as saloonkeeper.

* Two unusual jobs reported to CareerBuilder.com are cat nanny and yawn counter at a sleep clinic.

* A temporary worker in Santa Rosa, California can make up to $11 an hour to sit in the passenger seat of a FedEx truck so it can travel in the carpool lane.

* The top five answers to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" are astronaut, athlete, doctor, pop star and pastor -- in that order. The great desire to become president has slipped to the No. 11 spot.

* On an average day, the fingers of a typist travel the equivalent of 12.6 miles.

* If Bill Gates were a country, he would be the 37th richest nation in the world.

* For each episode of the coming season, Charlie Sheen will make $2 million dollars portraying Charlie Harper on "Two and a Half Men."

* While the annual per capita income in the United States is around $37,500, in Sierra Leone it is $530.

* The No. 1 reason given for quitting a job is that management demands that one person do the jobs of two or more people, resulting in longer days and weekend work.

* In a recent survey, 45 percent of Americans polled reported they are unhappy with their jobs. The top reasons: Workers do not consider their jobs to be interesting, incomes have not kept up with inflation and soaring cost of health insurance has eaten into take-home pay.


* Astrologer (Isaiah 47:13) * Athlete (2 Timothy 2:5)

* Bodyguard (1 Samuel 28:2) * Carpenter (Mark 6:3)

* Cook (1 Samuel 8:13) * Doorkeeper (2 Kings 22:4)

* Gem Cutter (Exodus 28:11) * Governor (2 Kings 23:8)

* Hunter (Genesis 10:9) * Idol Maker (Isaiah 45:16)

* Jailer (Acts 16:23) * Lawyer (Acts 24:1)

* Midwife (Genesis 35:17) * Musician ( Psalms 68:25)

* Prostitute (Luke 15:30) * Robber (John 10:1)

* Spy ( Numbers 21:32) * Water carrier (Joshua 9:21)


* Nothing will work unless you do. -- Maya Angelou

* The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office. -- Robert Frost

* The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. -- Vince Lombardi

* I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. -- Thomas Edison

* When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results. -- Calvin Coolidge (really)

* When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt. -- Henry J. Kaiser


In a veterinarian's waiting room: Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!

In a nonsmoking area: If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.

On a plumber's truck: We repair what your husband fixed.

In the front yard of a funeral home: Drive carefully. We'll wait.

On a maternity room door: Push. Push. Push.

Outside a secondhand store: We exchange anything -- Bicycles, washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful bargain?

In a cafeteria: Shoes are required to eat in the cafeteria. Socks can eat any place they want.

In an office: After your coffee break, please empty the coffee pot and stand upside down on the draining board.


Only 15 percent of workers are fired because of lack of competence. The remaining 85 percent are let go because of their inability to get along with fellow employees. When asked about the qualities of an effective employee, senior administrators and human relations personnel check humor as one of the choice attributes of a desired employee.