Économie et Statistique n° 352-353 - Social and professional time through time-use surveys

Economie et Statistique
Paru le : 01/09/2002
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How the unemployed use the time freed up by not having a job

Muriel Letrait

The Use of Time survey studies the effect of unemployment on daily activities. A comparison of job seekers and employed workers shows that unemployment generates an increase in the length of most activities and a slight diversification of them. For example, women do slightly more DIY and gardening, and men spend slightly more time with their children. The influence of the family situation is more often than not similar among job seekers and employed workers. Nevertheless, unemployment seems to accentuate a traditional breakdown of tasks within the family. Job seekers with children do fewer household chores and more DIY and gardening than job seekers without children, whereas this phenomenon is not found among employed workers. Male job seekers more often have a jobless spouse than employed workers. This spouse is more often unemployed when there are no children and a housewife when there are children in the household. The attitude to job seeking by female job seekers depends first and foremost on the presence of children. Women with children spend less time looking for work than the others and their daily lives are highly focused on domestic responsibilities. The activities of male job seekers living with their parents are fairly similar to those of male job seekers living alone. This is not the case for women in the same situation. In particular, they spend less time socialising than women living alone, whereas this difference is not found among the men.

Economie et Statistique
No 352-353
Paru le : 01/09/2002