The American Time Use Survey has revealed that unemployed men do less housework and spend more time watching TV on an average day than unemployed women. The graphs (right) are all interactive if you click through to the NYT site. These data are telling but probably not that surprising. I’d be interested to see how activities break down in homes where both a woman and man are unemployed. I didn’t see that comparison on the piece.
From the NYT (Josh Katz):
Housework encompasses a broad swath of activities, including cleaning, cooking, lawn care, paying bills and working on the car. Over all, women are far more likely than men to devote a significant portion of their time to housework. 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.
And from salon (Katie McDonough):
[T]he data splits along gender when it comes to certain time use categories. Namely, women who aren’t working spend more time doing housework and caring for family members than men in the same situation. According to the data, non-workers, overall, spend more time cleaning, cooking and doing other home-related tasks than people with jobs. But non-employed women still spend around twice as much time doing housework and taking care of other people than men. On average, women spent six hours of their days doing this kind of work, while men spent less than three hours on the same things.
This isn’t shocking. Which is, of course, depressing. Previous Time Use surveys have shown the same labor divide. And the fact that women shoulder most of the housework and care-giving responsibilities in America and elsewhere is well-documented and, at this point, feels like common knowledge.
And the discrepancy persists even when women are working full-time. Taking care of kids and making meals after work just becomes a second shift. According to the Time Use survey, 49 percent of women, overall, cleaned or did laundry on an average day, compared to only 19 percent of men. Women also spent more than twice the amount of time feeding, bathing and otherwise physically caring for young children compared to men.
All of that extra work for women means less time to do other stuff. Like, say, watch movies, exercise or be alone and do nothing. Which means that very few women are able to take a page from Giraldi’s book and spend their family leave time drinking tons of beer and avoiding work on their novels while watching “with awe” as their partners do everything else.
(Orig. posted on)