Working wives toil more than husbands
At least when you measure how each spends time. A survey looks at how Americans break up their days.
September 14, 2004: 2:26 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) Married working women with kids put in more time between their jobs, child-rearing and household activities than their employed husbands.

That's just one of the findings from the first American Time-Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was released Tuesday.

Take the average married couple, ages 25 to 54, who both work full time and have kids. The man, it turns out, spends more time on the job than his wife just over an hour more a day.

But the woman puts in nearly twice as much time (three hours) as her husband (1.6 hours) doing household activities and caring for household members both young and old.

When it comes to sleep, they're tied: Each gets about 7.4 hours of shuteye a night. The average for the total population is 8.3 hours.

As for child-rearing, among all parents employed or not, women are still the dominant force. For folks with children under 6, women spend more than twice as much time (2.7 hours a day) as men providing primary care, which the BLS defines as activities centered around the child, including reading, playing and attending children's events.

Mothers also spend more time providing what the BLS terms "secondary care" having a child under 13 in their care while doing something else as a main activity, such as cooking or shopping.

Other findings

The BLS survey, which looks at how time use varies across demographic and labor force groups, is based on data collected from interviews of 21,000 people in 2003.

Here are some of the survey's other findings:

One in five employed people do some or all of their work at home, whether they're self-employed or not, although self-employed workers are most likely to do so. Working at home is most common for those with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Men are slightly more likely than women to work on both weekdays and weekends.

Among women with children, those who are stay-at-home mothers reported getting slightly more sleep than working mothers (8.52 hours vs. 7.9 hours) and more time for leisure and sports activities. But they also put in nearly twice the time when it comes to caring for household members and more than twice the time pursuing household activities.

Adults without kids spend 1.4 hours more per day engaged in leisure and sports activities than adults with children.

And lastly, Americans -- no surprise -- watch a lot of TV. About half of our leisure time is spent glued to the tube. Other options, in case we've forgotten, include reading, thinking, exercising and socializing.