American Time Use Survey

Important notice about activity selection for the 2010 Well-Being Module

There was an error in the activity selection process for the 2010 Well-Being (WB) Module to the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). Due to a programming error in the data collection software, certain activities were less likely than others to be selected for follow-up questions in the WB Module.

By design, three eligible activities from the ATUS time diary were supposed to be selected at random for follow-up questions in the WB Module. Most diary activities were eligible for the WB module questions; however, sleeping, grooming, and a few other activities were not eligible.

In 2010, the last eligible activity in each respondent’s time diary was incorrectly excluded from the random selection process in most cases. As a result, eligible activities that occur at or near the end of the diary are underrepresented in the 2010 WB Module data. For example, the last eligible diary activity often is a long spell of TV watching; because of the selection error, TV watching is underrepresented in the WB Module data and the average duration of activities selected for the module is shorter than the average duration of all eligible diary activities.

BLS and the U.S. Census Bureau are exploring ways to mitigate this error. This may involve changes to the WB Module activity weights. BLS will inform data users in the event that any updated WB Module data files are released, and this website will be updated as needed.

Any updates to the WB Module activity weights will not affect the 2010 ATUS final weights.

For more information or to be added to the ATUS notification list, please contact ATUS staff by email.

Last Modified Date: March 26, 2013

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