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Women might work less than men, but they also have less free time

The chart above, based on data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows how much time American men and women 15 years of age and older spend on various activities in the course of a day. A man works about four hours and 12 minutes a day on average, while a woman works not quite three hours a day (which might not seem like much time, until you account for those who are retired or unemployed and weekends). Although men work more, women actually have less time to themselves. When sleep and leisure are taken together, men are able to relax for fully half an hour longer every day than women. Think how much easier life would be if you had an extra half an hour every day of the week. You would feel well-rested and energetic, you’d be able to play with your kids every night, you’d read Tolstoy. Or maybe you’d just get really good at DotA.

Anyway, back to the data. The difference between men and women is the result of women’s responsibilities outside of work. Women spend twice as much time on the phone and on correspondence and more than twice as much time caring for other members of the household. They spend about an hour more than men on cooking and housework, and shopping, hygiene and civic and religious organizations take up a few more minutes every day for women as well. That’s where the time goes, in case you were wondering.

The chart also shows how little time people spend participating in the economy, a subject Know More has discussed previously. For every hour people spend working or shopping, they spend five doing something not economic in nature. Click below to keep reading.

Max Ehrenfreund | March 20, 2014 at 10:24 am
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