Reasons for Optimism: The Results of the 2012 American Time Use Survey

Reasons for Optimism: The Results of the 2012 American Time Use Survey by Laura Stack

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- Mark Twain, American author, who attributed it to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. "I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Coleman Cox, American inspirational author. For the past several years, I've reviewed and written about the annual American Time Use Study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the data can be a bit confusing, it offers an intriguing snapshot of how we use our time. This past June 20, the BLS released its 2012 edition, covering everything from hours spent working and sleeping, to how long we watch TV and play video games. One thing to keep in mind as you read this post (and especially as you data-mine the study … [Read more...]

ATUS 2012: America’s Personal Productivity Stats

"The American work ethic is something to be admired. Our workforce, regardless of position, works hard to produce the best product and serve customers to the best of their ability." -- Leonard Boswell, U.S. Representative for Iowa's Third District. "On days that they worked, employed persons spent an average of 7.6 hours working. More hours were worked, on average, on weekdays than on weekend days—8.0 hours compared with 5.7 hours." -- Citation from the 2011 American Time Use Study. Executive Summary: This year's ATUS data paints a picture of a nation working harder than ever, significantly exceeding the "traditional" 40-hour week and working nearly as hard on weekends as on weekdays. The workers among the survey population were clearly not slacking, any more than they were in 2010. In f … [Read more...]

Married Parents Use of Time 2003-2006

A recent article in the June/July edition of Working Mother magazine pointed out that “Men contribute more to household work and child care than they did 45 years ago – by a large margin.”  While this may be true, a recent study, Married Parents’ Use of Time, 2003-06, posted by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that there is still a gap.  The study shows that married fathers spend an hour more at work than married mothers on average.  Married mothers had increased likelihood of providing care to the family’s children than married fathers by 21%.  On an average day, married mothers working full time are 25% more likely to spend time on household activities like cooking, yard care and cleaning than the married fathers working full time. There is also an … [Read more...]