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How do married parents use their time?

August 29, 2012

In 2009, married mothers who worked full time and whose husbands also worked full time were less likely to do housework on an average weekday than were married mothers employed part time or not employed. Mothers here refer to women who have children under age 18 in their household.

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Married fathers (those employed full time with household children under age 18) with wives employed full time were more likely to do housework (a total of 19 percent) than those with wives employed part time (14 percent) or those whose wives were not employed (12 percent).

A total of 44 percent of all husbands spent time in food preparation and cleanup in 2009, ranging from 36 percent of husbands of wives not employed for pay to about 50 percent of full-time working wives. About 85 percent of all wives spent time in food preparation and cleanup, ranging from 79 percent of full-time working wives to 90 percent of wives not employed for pay.

In 2009, 56 percent of all husbands were engaged in childcare activities with household children, compared with 87 percent of all wives.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. To learn more, see "How parents use time and money" (HTML) (PDF), Beyond the Numbers vol. 1, no. 11, August 2012.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, How do married parents use their time? on the Internet at (visited September 16, 2014).


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