Thursday Numbers

Great News – The Western Word is coming to you, STILL, I repeat STILL, coronavirus free, from deep inside an underground bunker in Montana. The bunker also serves as the worldwide headquarters for The Western Word blog!

Quote of the day…

I am about one week away from becoming friends with a volleyball. –

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include unemployment, Great Falls Public Schools, Covid-19 deaths, meat-packing industry, Jonestown deaths, 2020 Census self-response, Los Angeles & coronavirus testing, Roger Goodell’s sacrifice, and much more!


In the week ending April 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 3,839,000, a decrease of 603,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 15,000 from 4,427,000 to 4,442,000. The 4-week moving average was 5,033,250, a decrease of 757,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 3,750 from 5,786,500 to 5,790,250. (


That’s the amount of the Great Falls Public Schools elementary General Fund Budget Levy. If you are from Great Falls, please join me in voting for the levy on Tuesday, May 5.

Click HERE for more information. Please support children and public schools in Great Falls!


As of Thursday morning, that’s how many people have died in the United States from Covid-19 in about three months. (Reuters) There were 58,220 Americans killed in Vietnam in nearly two decades. (NPR)


With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant sows, one by one, that would cause them to abort their baby pigs. (Reuters)


The United States recorded 2,502 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the latest real-time tally on Wednesday reported by Johns Hopkins University. (


That’s how many people died in Jonestown, Guyana, in November 1979 after being urged to drink cyanide-laced grape-flavored Flavor Aid by their leader, Jim Jones. (Wiki)

It’s funny what people will be led to believe…


That’s Montana’s rank in the 2020 Census self-response, which is the same as last week. Montana has an embarrassingly low 46.2% response rate. Minnesota leads the nation with a 64.9% rating. The average is 54.3%. (

Many Montanans are afraid of the ‘gub-a-ment’ and think this is a roundabout attempt to take their guns.


Los Angeles became the first city in the U.S. to offer coronavirus testing for anyone regardless of whether they have symptoms, Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a press conference on Wednesday. (CNBC)

This is the way it should be everywhere.


Commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced his salary to $0 and other NFL employees will be taking pay cuts or furloughs due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP)

I hope he can still afford the necessities. He makes $30 million a year…