Sangyoub Park let us know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the results of the 2010 American Time Use Survey, a study that looks at what we do with our time. They haven’t released any charts of the 2010 data yet, but the Wall Street Journal posted an article with an image that summarizes the changes since 2007, before the recession began. Not surprisingly, on average Americans are spending less time working and more time sleeping and watching TV, among other activities:
Keep in mind those numbers are daily averages that even out activity that is often not evenly distributed in real life (such as work, where weekly hours worked are averaged across all 7 days).
These changes seem insignificant when you look at them; so what if Americans are, on average, sleeping 5 extra minutes a day, or spending 2 minutes less buying things? But when aggregated across the entire U.S. population aged 15 years or older, these add up to major shifts in family and work life as well as economic activity.
There’s a video to accompany the story:
Finally, they have an interactive website where you can enter your own time use in major categories (to the best you can estimate it) and see how you compare to national averages.
We’ll follow up with more detailed posts once the BLS starts posting relevant charts.