September 15, 2004
The new American Time Use Survey (ATUS) marks the first time that a federal statistical agency has produced estimates on how Americans spend their time.
The ATUS collects data on the activities people do during the day and how much time they spend doing them. Respondents were interviewed only once and reported their activities for the 24-hour period from 4 a.m. on the day before the interview until 4 a.m. on the day of the interview—their "diary day."
Among the various types of information available from ATUS are data on working at home. For example, in 2003 on days that they worked, about 1 in 5 employed persons did some or all of their work at home. Self-employed persons were far more likely than wage and salary workers to have done some work at home—51 versus 16 percent. Multiple jobholders also were much more likely to work at home than were persons with one job.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, First results from survey of time use on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/sept/wk2/art03.htm (visited November 29, 2015).
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.