Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday. –David B. Schlosser

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, TWW poll results, Biden approval numbers, TWW milestone, Pelosi running, Montana unemployment, 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 72,910,879 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 857,788.

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 54% of the eligible population. (Source)

Last week, the number of fully immunized Montanans was 545,592.

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 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 260,000, a decrease of 30,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 4,000 from 286,000 to 290,000. The 4-week moving average was 247,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,000 from 231,000 to 232,000 (DOL)

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


The Great Falls Public Schools report there are 218 positive COVID cases in the school (staff/students) this week. (Source)

Last week there were 296 cases.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that she is running for reelection, citing the “crucial” need to defend American democracy through legislation on voting rights and other issues. Pelosi, 81, has served in Congress since 1987. (WaPo)

I would not be running for reelection at age 81.


This week’s poll question asked, “Which two teams will meet in the Super Bowl?

Here are the results:

CHIEFS & 49ERS: 31%

Thanks to all those 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 current approval rating. (Source)

Last week, Biden’s approval rating was 41.9%.


I almost forgot to mention that this month marks the 17th year of The Western Word. The first blog post was on January 10, 2005.

This is post 4,465. That comes out to about 260 posts per year.

There won’t be any parades, but I may drink a glass (or two) of wine to celebrate.

Thanks to all who subscribe and visit the site.


Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell another 0.3 percentage points in December, ending the year at 2.5% — the lowest unemployment rate since records started being kept in 1976, Gov. Greg Gianforte said Tuesday. (AP)

Good job, Montana.


3 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. I was just channel hopping and came upon Fox News special where Texas Governor is hosting 13 State Attorney Generals (All Republicans) on border talks. Guess who just introduced himself and said this is first trip to Southern Border. The one and only
    Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
    What the hell is he doing there as I believe he has his plate full here in Montana with the numerous lawsuits against the laws passed by last legislature.
    He must have fled there in the dark of night as I read no where he was going there of course on the Montana taxpayers dime.

    • Dennis – Interesting. You are correct, he does have a plate full here. I’m sure we’ll see a press release from him. Thanks, JmB

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