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 Math Central Quandaries & Queries
 Question from shaelisa, a student: At a company fish fry, ½ in attendance are employees. Employees' spouses are 1/3 of the attendance. What is the percentage of the people in attendance who are not employees or employee spouses?

Shaelisa,

What fraction are neither? You may find a pie chart helps.
(We are implicitly assuming than no employees are married to each other so the "employees" and "spouses" groups do not overlap.)

To turn this into a percentage, multiply the numerator (top) by 100 and then divide by the denominator (bottom)

You will find the answer is not a round percentage and has a repeating decimal. Your instructor may expect you to round to the nearest percent (eg, the percentage of spouses would be given as 33%), to give a percent-and-fraction answer (33 1/3 %), to give enough decimal places to show the repeating pattern (33.33...%) or to use an overline to indicate repetition (33.3% with a line drawn over the last 3)

Good Hunting!
-RD

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