Married Parents' Use of Time Summary

Technical information:(202) 691-6339   USDL 08-0619
             http://www.bls.gov/tus/
                                       For release:  10:00 A.M. (EDT)
Media contact:        (202) 691-5902   Thursday, May 8, 2008


                 MARRIED PARENTSí USE OF TIME, 2003-06


   Married mothers employed full time were more likely to do household
activities and provide childcare on an average day than were married
fathers employed full time, the U.S. Department of Laborís Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today.  While married parents spent their
time in different ways, factors such as their employment status, the
age of their youngest child, and their spouseís employment status were
related to the amount of time they spent in selected activities and
their likelihood of doing those activities.

   The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data in this news release focus
on the activities of married parents who live in the same household as
their spouse and children under 18.  The data refer to the amount of
time these parents spent doing activities on an "average day," a term
that reflects the average distribution of time across all 7 days of the
week.  Many activities typically are not done on a daily basis, and some
activities only are done by a subset of married parents.  The analysis
that follows uses time-use estimates that are restricted to specific pop-
ulation groups based on employment status, the age of youngest household
child, and spouseís employment status.  For a further description of ATUS
data and methodology, see the Technical Note.

Work Activities of Married Parents

   -- Forty-three percent of married mothers and 88 percent of married
      fathers were employed full time.  Full-time workers are those who
      usually work 35 hours or more per week.

   -- Among full-time workers who are parents of children under 18, 
      married mothers were less likely to work on an average day than
      were married fathers; this partly reflects the fact that married
      mothers--particularly those with young children--were more likely
      to be on leave from their jobs than were married fathers.  Among
      married mothers employed full time, 65 percent of those with a 
      child under age 6 worked on an average day compared to 71 percent
      of married mothers whose youngest child was age 6 to 17.  About
      73 percent of married fathers who were employed full time worked
      on an average day, regardless of the age of their youngest child.
      (See table 1.)


                                   - 2 -



   -- Among full-time workers who are parents of children under 18, mar-
      ried fathers worked about 1.0 hour more per day than did married
      mothers--6.1 versus 5.1 hours.  The estimates are averages of
      both workdays and non-workdays; on average, married fathers
      employed full time worked 42.6 hours per week, and married
      mothers employed full time worked 36.0 hours.  The difference
      between these estimates partly reflects married mothersí
      greater likelihood of being absent from work.  (See table 1.)

   -- In households with children under 18, the amount of time
      fathers who were employed full time worked varied by their
      wivesí employment status.  In households where both spouses
      were employed full time, fathers spent 17 minutes fewer per
      day working than did fathers whose spouses were not employed.
      (See table 2.)

Childcare Activities of Married Parents

   -- Among full-time workers who are parents of children under 18,
      married mothers were more likely to provide childcare to house-
      hold children than were married fathers.  On an average day,
      71 percent of these mothers and 54 percent of these fathers
      spent time caring for and helping household children.  Mothers
      spent more time providing this care than did fathers--1.2 hours
      per day versus 0.8 hour (49 minutes) per day.  The difference in
      the amount of time spent partly reflects mothersí greater like-
      lihood of providing childcare on an average day.  (See table 1.)

   -- Full-time employed married mothers of children under 18 also were
      more likely to engage in travel related to childcare than were
      fathers with similar characteristics.  Forty percent of these
      mothers and 23 percent of these fathers spent some time in travel
      related to caring for and helping household children on an average
      day.  (See table 1.)

   -- Regardless of employment status, both mothers and fathers of child-
      ren under 6 spent more than twice as much time providing childcare
      on an average day as did their counterparts whose youngest child was
      age 6 to 17.  Both mothers and fathers were more likely to provide
      childcare when their children were under 6 than when their children
      were older.  (See table 1.)

   -- In households with children under 18 where married mothers were
      not employed and married fathers were employed full time, mothers
      spent triple the amount of time providing childcare on average than
      did fathers--2.5 hours versus 0.8 hour (50 minutes).  (See table 2.)



                                   - 3 -



Household Activities of Married Parents

   -- In households with children under 18, married mothers who were em-
      ployed full time were more likely to do household activities--such
      as housework, cooking, or lawn care--on an average day than were
      fathers who were employed full time (89 versus 64 percent).  (See
      table 1.)
  
   -- Among married mothers of children under 18, those who were not
      employed spent an average of 3.6 hours per day doing household
      activities; this was 1.6 hours more than married mothers employed
      full time, and 1.0 hour more than married mothers employed part
      time.  (See table 1.)
  
   -- On an average day, married fathers who had children under 18 and
      were not employed spent 2.3 hours doing household activities, about
      1.1 hours more than did fathers who were employed full time.  In
      addition to spending more time doing household activities, married
      fathers who were not employed were more likely to do household
      activities on an average day than were married fathers who were
      employed full time--73 versus 64 percent.  (See table 1.)

   -- In households with children under 18 where both spouses were employed
      full time, mothers spent an average of 2.1 hours per day doing house-
      hold activities, while fathers spent about 1.4 hours.  However, fathers
      in these households spent more time doing household activities than did
      fathers whose spouses were not employed--0.3 hour (20 minutes) more per
      day.  (See table 2.)

Leisure Activities of Married Parents

   -- Married mothers who were not employed and had children under 18 spent
      4.2 hours doing leisure activities on an average day, while married
      mothers who were employed full time spent 2.9 hours.  By contrast,
      married fathers who were not employed spent 6.3 hours doing leisure
      activities, and married fathers who were employed full time spent
      3.7 hours.  (See table 1.)

   -- In households with children under 18 where mothers were employed part
      time and fathers were employed full time, mothers spent 3.4 hours doing
      leisure activities on an average day and fathers spent 3.6  hours.  (See
      table 2.)





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Last Modified Date: May 08, 2008