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 … [Read more...]