Well-Educated but Idled, Perils of Casual Friday, Etc.

Who endured the brunt of unemployment during the late (we hope) recession? A report by the Economic Policy Institute shows a disproportionate number of pink slips went to people who’d been to college. When the economy began to stall, college graduates constituted 17 percent of the total jobless, while people with some college accounted for 22 percent. Between October 2000 and February 2002, though, 26 percent of those who lost a job were college graduates and 30 percent had “some college.” Conversely, high school dropouts constituted 23 percent of the unemployed at the beginning of that period, but supplied just 11 percent of new job losers during the ensuing downturn.

Honors for Best Use of Mr. Potato Head by a High-Tech Brand go this week to iBill, an online transaction processing service. Even the most humorless would-be tycoon will be charmed by the sight of that guileless face. Atlanta-based Creaxion created the ad.

Men are going downhill fast. A study by the Leisure Trends Group finds 64 percent of skiers and 63 percent of snowboarders are male. As you’d guess, the boarding cohort skews young: 60 percent are under 35, and 27 percent are 16-24. Skiers are relatively geriatric, with 74 percent older than 34 and 46 percent of them age 45 or older.

The typical online consumer will age greatly in the next few years. At present, says a Jupiter Media Matrix report, 16 percent of online shoppers are 50 or older. As the e-shopper population doubles between now and 2006, though, 30 percent of new consumers will be in that age group. While 47 percent of online shoppers are now age 19-35, just 19 percent of new shoppers will be in that bracket. Apparel, prescription drugs and home products (including small and large appliances) are forecast to be high-growth categories in the years ahead.

If you must boast, do it on a biblical scale. That appears to be the thinking behind a disarming ad (via Benedict Advertising of Daytona Beach, Fla.) for Thompson Pump, a force in the “dewatering industry.”

Received a dressing-down for indecorous Casual Friday attire? You’re not alone. A 15-city survey by Rowenta (as summarized on the WorldOpinion Web site) finds 12.7 percent of workers have been “spoken to” about unsuitable clothes at work. The top three offenses: jeans, tight/revealing outfits and unkempt/dirty clothes.