Thursday Numbers

Quote for today…

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. ― Confucius

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” If 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 COVID numbers, unemployment claims, ballots counted, TWW poll results, Biden approval numbers, states and drug use, gas prices, interest rate change, and more!


The company behind the TurboTax tax-filing program will pay $141 million to customers across the United States who were deceived by misleading promises of free tax-filing services, New York’s attorney general announced Wednesday. (AP)

According to Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, approximately 16,700 Montanans will benefit, receiving a payment directly from the settlement fund within the next few months. The payment will be sent automatically, there is no need for consumers to go through any kind of claims process. (MTDOJ)


The U.S. on Wednesday surpassed 1 million Covid-19 deaths, according to data compiled by NBC News — a once unthinkable scale of loss even for the country with the world’s highest recorded toll from the virus. The number — equivalent to the population of San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the U.S. — was reached at stunning speed: 27 months after the country confirmed its first case of the virus. (NBC News)


In the week ending April 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 200,000, an increase of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 180,000 to 181,000. The 4-week moving average was 188,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 179,750 to 180,000. (DOL)

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


That’s how many ballots were counted in Tuesday’s election for the Great Falls Public Schools Board of Trustees. (GF Tribune)

More about this election in my Friday column.


This week’s poll question asked, “Do you approve of Elon Musk buying Twitter?” Here are the results:

NO: 53%
YES: 19%

Thanks for participating!


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

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


Montana came in at #16 for states with the highest drug use and was ranked #4 for the highest percentage of teenage drug users. (WalletHub)

0.084 – 10.87

That is the average price per gallon of gas around the world as of May 2, 2022. (Source)

In the USA, the average price on May 2 was $4.58. The week before (April 25), the average price in the USA was $4.51.


The Federal Reserve intensified its fight against the worst inflation in 40 years by raising its benchmark interest rate by a half-percentage point Wednesday — its most aggressive move since 2000 — and signaling further large rate hikes to come. (AP)

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6 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. I was dismayed the number of school levies that were voted down on Tuesday. I scanned the news statewide and the following school levies went down many by large numbers. These are schools I found that levy failed :Three Forks,Monforton, Manhattan,Frenchtown,
    Target Range,Bonner,West Valley, Kalispell,Polson,St.Regis,
    Billings,Park City and Chester. There were a few that passed Butte, Bozeman,West Yellowstone,Big Sky, Missoula and Twin Bridges. This is really a result of the state legislature continued cuts to K-12 school funding. The end result is school district have to turn to local property tax payers.
    I fully understand the votes against these levies as for example my house was appraised for tax purposes 2 years ago for $330,000 and this summer reappraised for $507,000. I have done absolutely nothing in upgrades in that time. I live in the Polson district and if the Levy had passed my taxes would have gone up $600. If I was on fixed income I really probably could not afford that. I understand why it failed. But on the other hand we have out of state multiple million dollar homes on Flathead Lake that are taxed at a less rate due to being second homes. The state legislature did that and their logic is to twisted for this reply. Not investing in education now only hurts these students in their future.

    • Dennis – that is sad. I saw where Helena schools is having budget problems and offered long-tenured teachers $15k to retire.
      Thanks, JmB

  2. That 48,730 number the Trib reported as “ballots counted” seems a little misleading. It appears to be the total number of votes for all candidates, and we all got to vote for four on our one ballot.

    Or maybe I’m the only one who had to look at that twice.

    • Terry – you know I thought the number might be off some. I’ll keep watch and see what I can find. Thanks, JmB

    • Terry – in the race for the one year seat and only one person being elected, KRTV shows 12,571 votes cast (if my math is correct). -JmB

      • The Electric story you posted yesterday has some more reasonable overall numbers as well.

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