Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2013  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/01/2013   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

STRESSED FOR TIME



KEY SERIES



ALWAYS/ OFTEN FEEL RUSHED OR PRESSED FOR TIME, 15 years and over (a)

2007

%

Males
34.9
Females
42.4


(a) Males and females who always/ often feel rushed or pressed for time as a proportion of total population for each sex.

Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, 2007.



COMMENTARY


STRESSED FOR TIME

In 2007, 35% of men and 42% of women always or often felt rushed or pressed for time. Rates were higher among those who provided care to another person than those who did not provide care (46% compared to 29% for men and 55% compared to 33% for women).

Carers are those aged 15 years or over who, in the last week, provided care to a dependent child aged less than 15 years (including their own), or to an adult with a short- or long-term illness or disability.

Feeling rushed or pressed for time can provide an indication of juggling too many demands and responsibilities. This may restrict an individual from leading a balanced lifestyle and lead to increased stress levels. Being overstressed can result in physical illnesses, and psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression. These symptoms may also have adverse effects on family members and potentially result in relationship strains within the family unit. (Endnote 1)

Persons who felt rushed or pressed for time, for the purpose of this commentary, are those who reported always or often feeling this way.



Graph: Proportion of males and females by whether always/ often felt rushed or pressed for time, 2007


Why do men and women feel rushed or pressed for time?

For those that provided care to someone in the last week, the main reason for feeling rushed or pressed for time was trying to balance work and family responsibilities. There was no significant difference between men (42%) and women (41%).


Graph: Main reason always/ often feels rushed or pressed for time, for those males and females who provided care to someone in the last week, 2007



Beyond trying to balance work and family responsibilities, men and women who provided care had different main reasons for feeling rushed or pressed for time.

For men who provided care, the pressure of work or study was the second most common main reason for feeling rushed or pressed for time (20%). This was significantly higher than for women (5%). For women, demands of family were the second highest main reason for feeling rushed or pressed for time (26%). This rate was higher than for men (6%).

Secondary differences in the reasons for feeling rushed or pressed for time may reflect the activities and responsibilities that men and women who provide care are predominantly engaged in. For instance in 2006, mothers spent twice as many hours a day (on average) on child care activities than fathers, while fathers spent twice as much time on employment related activities than mothers. (Endnote 2)



Graph: Main reason always/ often feels rushed or pressed for time, for those males and females who did not provide care to someone in the last week, 2007


For people who did not provide care in the last week, the pressure of work or study was the most common main reason for feeling rushed or pressed for time for both men and women. The rate for men (31%) was significantly higher than for women (24%). Having too much to do/ too many demands placed on you was the second most common reason for both men (24%) and women (22%). There was no significant difference between men and women.

Trying to balance work and family responsibilities was the third most common main reason for feeling rushed or pressed for time, however women (19%) were more likely to report this than men (14%).


Balancing care and employment

The majority of people who provided care for someone in the last week and felt rushed or pressed for time were employed in the labour force (91% of males and 65% of females). (Endnote 3)

Of those who provided care and were employed full-time (35 hours or more per week in all jobs), women reported higher rates of feeling rushed or pressed for time (69%) than men (54%). Employed female carers who worked part-time hours (less than 35 hours per week in all jobs), also reported higher rates of feeling rushed or pressed for time than their male counterparts (58% and 32% respectively). (Endnote 3)



Graph: Whether always/ often feels rushed or pressed for time, for those employed males and females who provided care, by average hours usually worked per week, 2007



The difference in time spent on caring activities may help explain the differences in time pressure experienced by employed men and women carers. For instance, both full-time and part-time mothers spent over one hour more per day than fathers looking after their children. (Endnote 2)

But despite the overall higher rate of feeling rushed or pressed for time, more employed female carers said they were satisfied with the number of usual hours that they worked in all jobs, compared to employed male carers (62% of women, 53% of men).

However, more employed men who provided care and felt rushed or pressed for time wanted fewer hours of work than their female counterparts (37% and 25% respectively). Social reasons/ recreational activities/ free time (29%) and family reasons other than childcare (26%) were the most common reasons men gave for wanting to work fewer hours. This compared to 16% and 13% respectively for employed women. For women, the most common reason for wanting fewer hours of work was to provide care for children (42%). This was significantly higher than the proportion of men who stated this reason (14%). (Endnote 3)

In contrast, more employed women (13%) than men (9%) wanted to work more hours in paid employment. The most common reason given was wanting to earn more income (90% of males and 85% of females). There was no significant difference between the proportion of men and women who gave this reason. (Endnote 3)

Men and women who did not provide care

The majority of men and women who felt rushed or pressed for time and who did not provide care were employed (84% of men and 75% of women).

Of those who worked full-time (35 hours or more per week in all jobs), women reported higher rates of feeling rushed or pressed for time (51%) than men (41%). This was despite the fact that men worked, on average, more hours per week (49 hours) than their female counterparts (45 hours) in paid employment. Time spent by these women in other activities may help provide insight into why they felt more rushed or pressed for time than men. For example, in 2006, women (with or without a partner) who worked full-time, and who did not have children living in their household, spent 58 minutes more per day on unpaid work activities (3 hours 16 minutes per day) and 26 minutes less on recreation and leisure activities (3 hours 17 minutes per day) compared to men. (Endnote 4)

Women employed part-time who did not provide care also reported higher rates of feeling rushed or pressed for time compared to men (35% and 24% respectively), although men and women employed part-time worked similar hours per week (18 hours per week for men and 19 hours per week for women). As with full-time workers who did not provide care, this difference may be explained by differences in time use between part-time men and women. In 2006, for example, women (with or without a partner) who worked full-time and who did not have children living in their household spent 1 hour 16 minutes more per day on unpaid work activities (4 hours 34 minutes per day) and 1 hour and 3 minutes less per day on recreation and leisure activities (3 hours and 43 minutes per day) compared to men. (Endnote 4)



Graph:  Whether always/ often feels rushed or pressed for time, for those employed males and females who did not provide care, by average hours usually worked per week, 2007


Among employed persons, 57% of men and 58% of women who did not provide care in the last week, and felt rushed or pressed for time, were happy with the average number of hours they worked (in all jobs). Similar proportions of employed men and women wanted fewer hours of work (31% of men and 30% of women), while 11% of employed men and 12% of employed women wanted extra hours of work.

The most common reason for why employed men and women who did not provide care wanted fewer hours of work was for social reasons/ recreation activities/ free time. There was no significant difference between the proportion of men (48%) and women (43%) who gave this reason. For those who wanted extra hours of work, the most common reason was for more income (93% for both men and women). (Endnote 3)


ENDNOTES

1. Australian Psychological Society, 2011, Stress and wellbeing in Australia in 2011: A state of the nation survey, Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne <www.psychology.org.au>
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006, How Australians Use Their Time 2006. (cat. no. 4153.0) <www.abs.gov.au>
3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Data available on request, Survey of Employment Arrangements, Retirement and Superannuation, 2007 (cat. no. 6361.0) <www.abs.gov.au>
4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Data available on request, Time Use Survey, Australia, 2006 <www.abs.gov.au >



WORK AND FAMILY BALANCE LINKS

Glossary
Data Cubes

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.