A report released on June 19 talks about the Annual Time Use Survey by the Labor Department. The survey is conducted to see how the population spends its working and free hours which gives a look at their wages, productivity, and more details about the economy.
While the discriminatory pay gap between men and women still exists, another factor that accounts for this difference is that women spend more time in household and childcare duties which goes unpaid for. Women spend about one and half hour doing housework, which is thrice the time men spent on household chores.
Though in the last decade men have started participating more in cooking and cleaning, women’s time spent doing work at home has also doubled. There are chances that women will start earning higher than men soon as for the first time, more women are college-educated than men – about 29.5 million of them have a bachelor’s degree, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, birthing a child can keep women from getting an increase in their wages and promotions. For working mothers of children who are under the age six, they spend more than twice the time on childcare duties than men. It’s not as if when the child grows, a change in this occurs. In fact, over the last decade fathers are spending even less time with their children and mothers are spending a lot more time with their kids who are in the age bracket of 6 to 12.
Though women comparatively spend less time at work, the difference between the time both genders spent at work is narrowing. Working women have 7 hours and 20 minutes long work days typically whereas men spent 7 hours and 54 minutes at work. Data also concluded that Americans in the higher income group spent 30 minutes on exercise and 20 on reading.
Whereas, those in the lower income group spent 2.2 hours watching TV and playing video games. In the second category, working adolescents and students were counted as well. Lastly, the survey also found that men spent more time on relaxation than women. Women are now spending even fewer hours engaging in ‘me time.’
While men spent 4 hours and 40 minutes relaxing and among them fathers spent 4 hours relaxing, women spent 3 hours and 45 minutes relaxing while among them, working mothers got 3 and a half hours of relaxation. All this makes one thing clear – women work more overall and to meet their daily goals they are sacrificing their sleep and leisure time.
Women’s sleep is being compromised even more with them getting 8 and a half hours of sleep. However, men’s sleeping hours are still lower at 8 hours and 20 minutes. Clearly, there is a dire need for women to get some time to spend some quality time with themselves. For this, men will have to take on an equal amount of responsibilities at home and employers also need to make more arrangements for working parents as some already have.