Spending time

Date posted: September 28, 2012

Time and money are our two major resources. A new government report was just released that shows how parents use their time. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden gives the highlights.

“And we periodically have these reports … . And I think it does give us a perspective on the very important issue of time use. … It’s our other major resource, along with money.

“Let’s first look at what the study found regarding how men use their time. Men spend most of their hours working. That clearly dominated the results. So men are workers, and they spend most of their time at work. In terms of what they do besides working, home maintenance comes in second. Travel — time spent traveling, third.

“Then housekeeping, chores — that’s going to be different. That’s going to be things like doing the dishes and cleaning as opposed to home maintenance, (which) is repairing things. Housekeeping chores comes next, and then finally eating. I would have thought eating might have been much higher for men.

“Women who are working, again, like men, their dominant use of their time is time at work, if they are working for pay, followed by care for children. That’s a big difference with men. Care for children is second, then travel, then household work.

“So if you’re comparing, for example, men and women, and both are in the paid labor force, the big difference here is who is engaged in child care. And despite all the social and economic and cultural changes that have gone on in our country over recent decades, it’s still the case that women are the main caregivers for children.”

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