August 06, 2009
Traditionally, many unpaid household work activities have been considered women’s work and have most often been done by women. Gender remains a factor in who does these activities: during the 2003–07 period, women spent an average of 10.8 hours more per week doing unpaid household work than men.
Among 25- to 34-year-olds, women spent about twice as many hours per week (31.7) doing unpaid household work as men (15.8).
The differences narrow somewhat as people get older, but even among 55- to 64-year-olds, women spent an average of 26.2 hours per week doing unpaid household work, compared with 17.8 hours for men.
One factor driving these gender differences was women’s greater likelihood of doing unpaid household work on an average day—91 percent of women, compared with 78 percent of men.
These data are from the BLS American Time Use Survey. More information can be found in "Measuring time spent in unpaid household work: results from the American Time Use Survey" (PDF), by Rachel Krantz-Kent in the July 2009 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Hours spent doing unpaid household work by age and sex, 2003–07 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/ted_20090806.htm (visited September 23, 2014).
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