Women spent more time than men on unpaid work in May

Media Release

Women were more likely than men to have spent time on unpaid indoor housework, cooking and the care or supervision of children, according to May survey data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, conducted from 14 – 23 May 2021, asked Australians about hours spent on a range of unpaid activities.

“The survey found that 62 per cent of women spent five or more hours in the last week on unpaid indoor housework compared with 35 per cent of men.

“Women also took on more caring responsibilities than men, spending five or more hours in the last week on unpaid caring or supervision of children (38 per cent of women compared with 28 per cent of men), care of adults (16 per cent compared with 7 per cent) and cooking and baking (64 per cent compared with 37 per cent).

“Men were slightly more likely than women to have spent five or more hours in the last week on outdoor chores and repairs (20 per cent compared with 18 per cent),” Mr Zago said.

The survey also followed up on holiday travel plans for winter this year and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Two in five Australians (40 per cent) reported they intended to travel for holidays between June and August 2021. For those who didn’t intend to travel or were unsure, two in three (66 per cent) reported they’d like to travel,” said Mr Zago.

“Over one in four (27 per cent) Australians who wanted or intended to travel, reported they were replacing earlier plans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reasons for not intending to travel included COVID-19 travel restrictions making it difficult or impossible to travel (29 per cent), concerns about the risks of COVID-19 or COVID-19 outbreaks (26 per cent) and general uncertainty (25 per cent). More than one in four people (28 per cent) reported they had no reason to travel or nowhere they wanted to go.

Of the Australians who wanted or intended to travel between June and August 2021, over half (53 per cent) thought their plans would proceed, while the remainder (46 per cent) were unsure or thought they would not proceed.

The ABS would like to thank the Australian households that contributed to these survey results.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
  • Information on ABS products being produced to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australia can be found on the ABS website.

Back to top of the page