Unemployed Men and Women Spend Their Days Differently, So Even Being Jobless Is Gendered


Most people between the ages of 25-54 are employed, which means that they spend a significant chunk of their week days at work. But what about the 30 million unemployed Americans who are in this age group? What kinds of activities occupy their days?

The annual American Time Use Survey asks Americans to report how exactly they are using their time, by the minute. Obviously, unemployed people were also included in this survey and, interestingly enough, how an average week day looks to an unemployed man is a lot different than to an unemployed women. Yep, even unemployment is gendered.

Averages can be skewed though and not always provide an accurate picture of the data. So, The New York Times decided to look at this data in a different way, by taking an in-depth look at one single day in the life of unemployed men and women.

Here's a look at some of the activities they do in a day, in graph form:

And here's a breakdown of the categories:

1. Watching TV

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We all know the stereotype of an unemployed person being nothing more than a couch potato. It turns out that those who were unemployed did spend more time channel surfing than they did looking for a job. But this activity had clear gender divides; only 19 people of the 65 who spent the majority of their day watching TV were women.

2. Sleeping

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If you're unemployed, you're probably getting more sleep than the rest of us. The unemployed participants in this "prime" age group (25-54) averaged about an hour more of shut-eye than those who were employed. This category actually didn't show much differentiation between men and women.

3. Housework & Caring For Others

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Not surprisingly, these categories had extremely different results across gender. 20 percent of unemployed women spent most of their time caring for other people and almost all of them have kids. Housework also occupied a significant amount of unemployed women's time and combined with caring for others took up six hours of their day. Unemployed men on the other hand spent only half the amount of time engaged in these activities.

4. Looking for a Job

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The activity that we expect (well, hope) most unemployed people to spend their day doing, job searching, was indeed one of the pursuits that people in this age group spent their time on. Interestingly though, yep you guessed it, this category also shows different results across gender. Of the sample, 10 men versus one woman spent the most time doing it.

In summary then, unemployment looks very different for men and women. Clearly, the activities that people engage in who are jobless are very different, as men spend more time in leisure, while women spend more time doing housework and taking care of their loved ones. For the complete report and results of this survey, head over to the New York Times and check out their cool infographics.

Image: The New York Times/Twitter, Getty Images (4)