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What 10 Everyday Situations Cost the Economy

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Thinkstock/Bryan Dugan

What happens when you consider the larger cost of everyday annoyances? Statistics! 

1. Hangovers

If you think you feel bad after a bender, consider the economy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that hangovers cost the U.S. about $1.37 in lost productivity per drink, which adds up to more than $220 billion per year

2. Distracted driving

Is distracted the new drunk? According to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study, haphazard multi-tasking on the road costs $3.58 billion per month in injuries, property damages, lawsuits, and more.

3. Delayed flights

A 2010 Federal Aviation Administration report claimed that delayed flights cost the U.S. economy $32.9 billion per year. The aggravation, however, can't be quantified.

4. Food poisoning 

According to a study out of Ohio State University, food poisoning costs more than $77 billion each year. Talk about eating a loss.

5. Sleep deprivation

You don't always lose when you snooze. Tired workers are a liability, and Harvard researchers estimate they cost U.S. companies $63.2 billion annually

6. Cold season

There's no such thing as a paid sick day. The University of Michigan put a $40 billion annual price tag on the common cold.

7. Looking for a bathroom

In 2012, the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program attributed nearly $500 million in Africa's economic losses to not being able to find a clean, safe place to use the bathroom.

8. Daylight Saving Time

Springing forward each year doesn't just cost you sleep. It also leads to more workplace injuries, lower productivity, and even an increase in heart attacks. Chmura Economics & Analytics says it all adds up to about $433,982,548.

9. March Madness 

This one might not happen every day, but basketball fans—and economists—cried foul when the executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated that March Madness costs U.S. businesses some $3.8 billion in worker productivity each year. 

10. Social media distractions

 Using sites like Twitter and Pinterest all day could cost the U.S. economy up to $650 billion—roughly $4,452 per company—in worker productivity. (Check out the Mashable infographic.) But don't worry, that won't keep these companies from asking you to Like them on Facebook.

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Live Smarter
This Tool Knows If Robots Are Coming for Your Job
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If you work as a cashier, you may want to polish your resume. According to the online tool “Will Robots Take My Job?” there’s a 97 percent chance your position will be replaced with technology in the not-too-distant future. Pharmacists, on the other hand, can breathe easier—they face a 1.2 percent risk level of unemployment by automation.

As reports, the website, developed by Mubashar Iqbal and designed by Dimitar Raykov, can calculate the stability of 702 jobs. It pulls its data from a 2013 report titled "The Future of Employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?” The original study projects that 47 percent of U.S. jobs risk becoming obsolete as technology advances.

To see which side of the workforce your occupation falls on, type your title into the search bar on the main page. The tool brings up your automation risk level (ranging from “Totally safe” to "You are doomed”), the job’s projected growth, and median salary and employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With some positions, like bank tellers (risk level of 98 percent) and telemarketers (99 percent), apps and automations are already starting to phase out human beings. Fortunately, there are still plenty of tasks a robot can’t be programmed to execute. So people with creative jobs, like writing songs or naming paint colors, are safe for now.

[h/t Geek]

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Haldean Brown via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Toblerone Now Has Fewer Triangles—and Customers Are Outraged
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Haldean Brown via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

UK fans of the Swiss chocolate bar Toblerone are in for a rude awakening when they peel back the candy’s iconic triangular package: In an effort to cut costs, Toblerone’s makers Mondelez International have redesigned the bar with fewer peaks—and consumers definitely mind the gap.

As The Guardian reports, the decision to reduce the weight of their UK product was made in light of rising ingredient prices. Toblerone wrote on their Facebook page: "…to ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape, we have had to reduce the weight of just two of our bars in the UK." Those two bars, the 400-gram and the 170-gram, are now 360 grams and 150 grams respectively thanks to large gaps where there were once solid chocolate chunks.

Unsurprisingly, Toblerone’s customer base hasn't embraced the change. One Twitter user characterized the redesign as "a chocolate bar of disappointment" while another compared it to a bicycle rack. The classic look, originally meant to evoke the Swiss Alps, is now more reminiscent of Holland in the opinion of one Facebook commenter.

Toblerone’s announcement didn’t mention Brexit by name, but that hasn’t stopped some angered chocolate lovers from making the connection. Since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June, the devaluation of the British pound has had an impact on everything from model trains to Marmite. A shortage of the latter sent buyers into a panic last month before the pricing dispute between supermarkets and the maker was quickly settled. Toblerone fans aren't feeling so optimistic about the outcome of this latest Brexit casualty:

[h/t The Guardian]


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