Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Never sacrifice your class to get even with someone who has none. Let them have the gutter. You take the high road. – Unknown

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

This week’s topics include coronavirus information, unemployment claims, big tipper, Biden/Trump job approval, TWW poll results (Jesse Slaughter), Congress’s job approval, Britney Spears, best-run cities, birth rates, and much more!


That is how many people have died in the United States from coronavirus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. There have been 33,578,819 cases across the country so far. The first death in the USA was reported on February 29, 2020. (Johns Hopkins)

Last week the death total was 600,656.


That is how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. That is 46% of the eligible population. (Source)

Last week the number of fully immunized Montanans was 415,586.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s estimated population in July 2019 was 1,068,778.

Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You by clicking HERE.


In the week ending June 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 411,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 412,000 to 418,000. The 4-week moving average was 397,750, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 395,000 to 396,250. (DOL)

*Note: On Thursdays, this column is published right after 6:30 a.m. (Montana time), so I can post the latest unemployment numbers.


A customer who ordered a couple of chili dogs, fried pickle chips, and drinks at a New Hampshire restaurant left a big tip — $16,000. The staff didn’t notice at first, Mike Zarella, owner of the Stumble Inn Bar and Grill in Londonderry, told WMUR-TV. The tab was $37.93 before the tip. (AP)

That is very nice!


Fifty-six percent of Americans approve of the job President Joe Biden is doing overall, essentially unchanged from 54% in May. Biden’s approval rating has averaged 56% since he took office, with his monthly approval ratings straying no more than two percentage points from that level. (GALLUP)

According to Gallup, Donald Trump’s highest approval rating was 49%.(GALLUP)


Last week, Cascade County (Great Falls), Montana, Sheriff Jesse Slaughter announced that he was switching political parties from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

This week’s poll question asked, “Do you agree with Sheriff Slaughter’s decision to switch political parties?”

Here are the results:

  • NO: 53%
  • YES: 41%

Thanks to all those who participated!


While Americans’ support for Biden is holding firm, their approval of Congress slipped to 26% this month, from 31% in May. It is now 10 points below this year’s high of 36% recorded in March, around the time Congress passed the largely popular CARES Act, which provided $1.9 trillion in new COVID-19 economic relief. (GALLUP)

Nobody much likes members of Congress overall, but they keep reelecting their own.


After 13 years of near silence in the conservatorship that controls her life and money, Britney Spears passionately told a judge Wednesday that she wants to end the “abusive” case that has made her feel demoralized and enslaved. (AP)


12 & 17

Congratulations to Missoula (#12) and Billings (#17) for making WalletHub’s list of Best Run Cities in America for 2021. (WALLETHUB)


The number of births in the United States fell by 4% last year, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the pandemic may have presented the “perfect storm” for accelerated declines. It’s “the largest annual decline in the number of births since 1973,” CDC researchers wrote in their report. (CNN)


Montana’s unemployment rate declined again, falling to 3.6% in May, down from 4.0% in January and down from 9.1% one year ago. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was 5.8% for the month of May. (News.MT.Gov)


3 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Gianforte’s news release is an interesting one.

    On the one hand he toots his own horn about the $1200 back-to-work bonus he’s offering, which is funded by some of the free Federal money from one or both of the pandemic stimulus plans, and which he’s apparently trying to tie to that monster 0.4% drop in unemployment since he took office in January.

    Then on the other hand he finishes off his jobs news release with a gratuitous swipe at the Federal government for its “out-of-control spending”, which so far under Biden has been chiefly that same pandemic relief, and which Greg and the legislature welcomed like kids gettinng $5 from granny for the candy store.

  2. Oh my god NOOO! Jesse went National! He even has a cowboy hat now, just like that other crazy fascist sheriff, David Clarke! What an embarrassment. Cyndi Baker and her tea party “patriots” must be positively orgasmic! What the hell is he trying to do? Invite even more kooks to Montana? Does he really have no shame? How dare he represent his kooky self as being what our community is all about!

    • Larry – I saw that. I hope to write about it for Friday’s column. Thanks, JmB

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