Sunday, June 28, 2009

How Americans spend their 24 hours

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its American Time Use Survey results for 2008. Here are a few charts illustrating some results from Table 1 and Table 5 of the release.

The average female spends 2.13 hours per day in household activities (housework, food preparation and cleanup, lawn and garden work, and household management), 2.99 hours working, and 0.28 hours on the phone.

Note that these statistics represent the entire population aged 15 and older, employed plus all others (retired, not employed, etc.). The statistics, therefore, may not represent the "average" as one would have thought. For example, the average female's time spent at work-related activities, 2.99 hours, is dragged down by a large portion of the female population that does not work (teens, stay-at-home moms, elderly, etc.).

The average male spends 1.3 hours per day in household activities (housework, food preparation and cleanup, lawn and garden work, and household management), 4.52 hours working, and 0.14 hours on the phone.

By occupation, installation, maintenance, and repair employees work the longest hours on average.

You can see the breakdown of activities starting on page 8 of the release. Likewise, the BLS provides charts regarding last year's results here (which includes a chart illustrating type of activity by working population rather than the total population that is listed directly in the results tables of the 2008 release).

Rebecca Wilder

5 comments:

  1. I'm big on other activities, not elsewhere classified, although it's difficult to imagine what those might be.

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  2. Hi Charles,

    I've got one. Playing chicken with tractors:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZoJleb-Gr0

    Rebecca

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  3. But how is wasting time on the Internet classified? Is that work or leisure?

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  4. Hi Donna,

    If you waste time during work hours, that is probably counted as work (unless someone is overly honest on the survey). Other than that, it is classified under sports and leisure.

    Thanks for commenting, Rebecca

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  5. I notice that traveling/commuting is not listed as an independent activity. I guess that means commuting to work is counted as part of "working and work-related activities". That suggests the time spent actually working is less than what is shown on the graph.

    ReplyDelete