(a) Data based on person's primary activity. For more information on definition of primary activity see Glossary (Work and family balance).
(b) For definition of unpaid work see Glossary (Work and family balance).
(c) Aggregated time for primary activity averaged across all persons.
(d) Some differences between 1997 and 2006 may partially be due to coding changes in 2006 rather than actual changes. For further information see Explanatory Notes in How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0).
Source: How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0).
ENGAGEMENT IN WORK
In 2006, the time spent on work by all males aged 15 years and over averaged 7 hours and 25 minutes per day, up 17 minutes on the average in 1997. For females the average time spent working in 2006 was 7 hours and 34 minutes per day, up 19 minutes on 1997.EMPLOYMENT RELATED AND UNPAID WORK
Work includes employment related activities as well as formal volunteer work and unpaid work in the home including domestic activities child care activities, and purchasing activities to support the worker's household, and caring for others outside the home (informal volunteer work).
Work provides a range of tangible and intangible positive outcomes for people and society - it is a key driver of wellbeing. Paid employment generates financial resources for the worker and their family, while both formal and informal volunteering generate huge support for communities through non-market production.
Unpaid work in the home provides important services for household members in daily living, including critical care for children and others in need of assistance with their daily activities. Unpaid household work takes up a substantial portion of people's waking lives and is a major contributor to household and family functioning. The value of unpaid household work in Australia has been estimated in ABS Unpaid Work and the Australian Economy, 1997 (cat. no. 5240.0) as equivalent to up to almost half (48%) of Australia's Gross Domestic Product.(Endnote 1)
Also as importantly, working generates personal wellbeing for the valued worker, leads to a feeling of making a difference, and creates and improves self esteem. It also generates the feeling of being socially included, and builds social capital through bonding and bridging associations in working together and caring for each other and the community.
Employment related activities include not only the activities carried out in either paid employment or unpaid employment in a family business or farm, but also time spent on activities such as job search, travel either to work or in the course of job search, and time spent in the workplace during work breaks. When looking at the primary activities undertaken, in 2006 males, on average, spent 4 hours and 33 minutes per day on employment related activities, up 12 minutes on the average in 1997. For females, the average time spent on employment related activities in 2006 was 2 hours and 21 minutes per day, up 9 minutes on 1997. On average, both males and females spent another 1 second a day on secondary employment related activities such as work breaks.
While in 2006 males spent nearly twice as long as females on employment related activities, females on average spent nearly double the time spent by males on primary activities associated with unpaid work. The average time spent by females on unpaid primary work in 2006 was 5 hours and 13 minutes per day, up 10 minutes on 1997, while males spent 2 hours and 52 minutes, up 5 minutes on 1997.
While females, on average, spent more time in employment related activities in 2006 than in 1997 (up by 9 minutes per day), their average time per day spent on primary domestic activities (such as food preparation, service and clean up, washing, ironing and clothes care, cleaning, home and car maintenance, pet care and care of grounds) was lower (by 8 minutes to 2 hours 52 minutes in 2006). For males, the average time spent on domestic activities (1 hour and 37 minutes per day in 2006) was unchanged on 1997.Child care activities
In 2006, all males 15 years and over spent, on average, 22 minutes per day on primary child care activities (such as the physical and emotional care of children, teaching, reprimanding, playing with and talking to children, minding children and visiting child care establishments or schools) for children under 15 years of age, up from 16 minutes in 1997. The time spent, on average, by females on primary child care activities in 2006 was 59 minutes, up from 45 minutes in 1997. While some of the increases in the average time spent by both males and females on some activities can be attributed to changes in coding rules for the activity component 'playing, reading and talking' to children in 2006, - see Explanatory Note 18 in How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0) - there was also an increase in the average time spent by males and females on minding children and travel time associated with child care activities.
When considering the primary activities of parents rather than all adults, fathers spent, on average, 1 hour and 12 minutes per day on care activities for children under 15 years of age, while mothers spent 3 hours and 5 minutes per day. However, parents often look after children at the same time as undertaking other activities. In order to get a complete picture of time spent caring for children, both primary and secondary activities need to be considered. Taking secondary activities into account shows that in 2006 mothers spent an average of 8 hours and 33 minutes a day on child care activities, and fathers spent 3 hours and 55 minutes.
Purchasing goods and services activities
In 2006, females aged 15 years and over spent, on average, 58 minutes per day on primary activities associated with purchasing goods and services (up 4 minutes on 1997), compared to 38 minutes for males (up 3 minutes). However, some of the increase on 1997 can be attributed to changes in coding rules. For more information see Explanatory Note 18 in How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0).
Voluntary work and care activities
The time spent, on average, by females on voluntary work and care (physical and emotional caring activities for adults, unpaid work for organisations, and assisting family, friends, neighbours and others) in both 2006 and 1997 was 24 minutes per day. For males, the average time spent on voluntary work and care activities declined from 19 minutes per day in 1997 to 15 minutes in 2006.
1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009, Australian Social Trends, Mar 2009, (cat. no. 4102.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
WORK AND FAMILY BALANCE LINKS
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