Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

Some of the best advice I’ve been given: “Don’t take criticism from people you would never go to for advice.” – 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 nation, state, and local COVID numbers, unemployment claims, new Montana businesses, Montana Legislators attending Lindell’s cyber symposium, TWW poll results, Biden approval numbers, Gallup’s annual rating of the honesty and ethics of various professions, the last Kmart, 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 63,203,866 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 832,148.

Thanks to everyone who wears a mask and has been vaccinated – you are patriots!


That is how many Montanans have been fully immunized for COVID-19. That is just 53% of the eligible population. (Source)

Last week, the number of fully immunized Montanans was 541,114.

Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You by clicking HERE.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana’s population in April 2020 was 1,084,225


In the week ending January 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 230,000, an increase of 23,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 207,000. The 4-week moving average was 210,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 204,500. (DOL)

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


Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen today announced a record number of new businesses were created in Montana last year. More than 51,500 new businesses were registered with the Montana Secretary of State in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2020 by more than 12,000 businesses. (

That seems like a lot…


Two Montana Republican legislators were reimbursed $1,500 last year for travel to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s South Dakota cyber symposium. According to records obtained by Montana Free Press from the Legislative Services Division, Rep. Bob Phalen, R-Lindsay, was reimbursed $979.37 for lodging and mileage expenses incurred during his trip to the symposium. Rep. Paul Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, was likewise reimbursed $528.04 for mileage. (MTFP)

Craziness. Pure ignorance.


This week’s poll question asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the first year of the Gianforte Administration?”


Thanks to everyone who participated!


The Cascade County (Great Falls, MT) City-County Health Department reports that as of Wednesday still only 49% of eligible individuals in the county are fully vaccinated. (Source)

C’mon people – get vaccinated!


According to, that is President Joe Biden’s approval rating. (Source)

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 43.1%.


Gallup’s annual rating of the honesty and ethics of various professions finds five of the 22 occupations rated this year at new lows in public esteem. While the majority of Americans continue to believe military officers have high ethics (61%), the score is down 10 percentage points since it was last measured, in 2017. TV reporters’ ethics rating has fallen nine points to 14% over the same period, and judges’ has declined five points to 38%.
While down several points since 2020, the perceived ethics of clergy (36%) and grade-school teachers (64%) are just a point or two below their previous all-time lows. (Gallup)

Gallup also reports that nurses lead Gallup’s annual ranking of professions for having high honesty and ethics, eclipsing medical doctors in second place by 14 points — 81% vs. 67%. Grade-school teachers (64%), pharmacists (63%), and military officers (61%) round out the top five most revered professions in this year’s list, with more than six in 10 Americans viewing each as highly ethical.


It’s the end of an era in the Bitterroot, as the holding company controlling the remnants of the once-powerful Kmart retail chain announced that the store in Hamilton (MT) will be closing in early March. The Kmart in Hamilton is not only the last one in Montana, but also one of the last in the entire country. According to the most recent counts, there are only six stores across the U.S., and the Hamilton closure – which was announced to employees on Friday – leaves just five stores, with this one being the last in the West. (MTN News)

I miss Kmart…


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