Interesting data caught my attention today. Bureau Of Labor Statistics published American Time use survey results for 2011. The result tallies with the general belief that men do more outside work and women helps more with household work. The difference is not much, and I am sure the work division is least among other countries.
I am going to present some of the important facts that came out of the survey.
Time spent at job Report
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.
Employed men worked 47 minutes more than employed women. This difference partly reflects women’s greater likelihood of working part time. However, even among full-time workers (working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women – 8.3 hours compared with 7.8 hours.
On the days that they worked, 21 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home, and 85 percent did some or all of their work at their workplace. Men and women were about equally likely to do some or all of their work at home.
Household Activities Report
On an average day, 83 percent of women and 65 percent of men spent some time doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or financial and other household management.
On the days that they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on such activities, while men spent 2.1 hours.
On an average day, 19 percent of men did housework–such as cleaning or doing laundry–compared with 48 percent of women. Forty percent of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 66 percent of women.
Leisure Activities Report
On an average day, nearly everyone age 15 and over engaged in some sort of leisure activity (95 percent), such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Of those who engaged in leisure activities, men spent more time in these activities (5.8 hours) than did women (5.2 hours).
Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for about half of leisure time, on average, for those age 15 and over. Socializing, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, was the next most common leisure activity, accounting for nearly three-quarters of an hour per day.
Men were a little more likely than women to take part in sports, exercise, or recreation on any given day – 20 percent compared with 17 percent. On the days that they participated, men also spent more time in these activities than did women – 1.9 hours compared with 1.3 hours.
My take on the survey
We spent most of our leisure time in front of TV. My fellow personal finance bloggers advice cutting on cable bill and spending that time in money earning activity. The reason being financial independence. Now when you achieve financial independence, what would you do? You do not have to be engaged in money earning activities any more so, you have all the time to watch TV then.
So the advice really boils down to postponing TV time for old age! There can be arguments for, as well as, against this. Our brain needs some rejuvenation and stimulant. One natural way is to watch TV programming. On the other hand you can also enjoy doing writing, etc. which can rejuvenate you as well as it may earn you money.
Now on the men vs. women issue. Women spent 0.5 hours less than a man at work (8.3 vs 7.8 hrs). And spend exactly that much time more than men in household activities (2.6 vs. 2.1 hrs.).
I am not a sexist, and think men and women as equal but, I do feel the nature of labor is a fair difference. Average women are definitely better at many household tasks than average men. Average men are better at certain outdoor physical work than women. I do feel this is how it should be in other countries as well. Where men and women work classification has a narrow margin like this.
But, alas, women are yet to get their place in many other countries, especially third-world countries where education is still a luxury.
It would be interesting to analyze similar data in middle eastern countries especially. If you want to dig more in to the report, head over here.
Readers, this is the first time I did this sort of post. This is a controversial topic, and, I am interested to know other opinions as well. I encourage you to take part in conversation.