Study: How Men And Women Spend Their Time When They're Unemployed

| by Dominic Kelly
article imagearticle image

A closer look at data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the annual American Time Use Survey shows that there are major differences between how unemployed men and women spend their time.

In an in-depth analysis from Upshot, Josh Katz put together charts using the survey’s data to look at exactly what unemployed Americans are doing with their days and compare that by gender. When specifically looking at the amount of time devoted to housework and childcare, the analysis shows that unemployed women devote more time to both of those things than men.

“Over all, women are far more likely than men to devote a significant portion of their time to housework," Katz writes in his analysis. "Housework combined with our next category (caring for others) occupied almost six hours of the average woman’s day in our sample, compared with less than three hours for that of the average man."

When comparing 147 women to 147 men, 81 women devoted most of their time to housework and childcare, whereas only 34 men did the same.

The analysis also found that a large majority of all survey participants unsurprisingly spent a lot of time actively looking for work. Further, the results showed that more men on average spent the majority of time watching TV and movies than women did overall.

While there are certainly many factors that the study doesn’t address, like why any of these people are unemployed to begin with, the numbers shine a light on the differences in priorities between men and women, in a general sense, and also reveal exactly what many unemployed people are spending their time doing when they’re unable to work.

Sources: NY Times, Slate, Bureau of Labor Statistics / Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons