A day in the life of the average American

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There’s nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning and realizing that it’s the weekend, knowing that you have the entire day ahead of you to do whatever it is you feel like doing. Unless, of course, you wake up on Saturday morning and realize that you have to work all day.

While working on the weekend may sound like a bad dream to many of us, it’s actually a routine reality for a fairly large part of the U.S. population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “American Time Use Survey,” more than one -third (35 percent) of the U.S. population is working on any given weekend (this accounts for jobholders who usually work on weekends, as well as those whose work occasionally carries over onto weekends).

Making the weekend workday slightly more bearable is the fact that, while the average workday during the week is about 7.9 hours,  jobholders put in an average of just 5.5 hours per day on weekends.

So what else did the survey tell us about a day in the life of the average American? Below are some of the more interesting findings about how we spend our time.


  • Among full-time workers, men worked about .4 hours more each day than women — 8.2 hours compared to 7.8 hours.
  • On the average workday, 24 percent of jobholders did at least some work from home. Eighty-three percent did some or all of their work at their workplace.
  • Self-employed workers were more likely to work from home than wage or salaried workers — 64 percent compared to 19 percent.

Home and leisure

  • On an average day, women were not only more likely than men to do household activities like cleaning, cooking and lawn care — 84 percent compared to 67 percent; they  also spent more time each day on these activities — 2.6 hours for women, compared to 2.1 hours for men.
  • Overall, Americans spent the most leisure time watching TV (2.7 hours), followed by socializing — visiting with friends and attending social events — (about 45 mins).
  • Men were more likely to participate in exercise, sports and recreation than women — 22 percent compared with 16 percent.
  • In households with children under the age of 6, adults spent an average of two hours each day providing primary child care (where child care was  the main activity) and 5.6 hours providing secondary care (where child care was done at the same time as a leisure or household activity).

How do these stats compare to your life? Let us know in the comments section.

  1. Let’s stop with the best way to get a job. Too much creativity will leave job hunter’s with a sense of let down when the workplace is not what they thought they were being hired for in the first place. I have been in the workforce for over twenty years and the lunacy surrounding the job search has me wandering if anyone in America knows what they are doing anymore, and if it leads to a game for them and the companies they work for; How about just hiring people and get this country to work. We are starting to look like idiots on the international level of workers.

    • I doubt it they actually practice family morals & values as Americans can not do that anymore as we have to chase the dollar in order to make a living! Sad

  2. OMG! is this article telling us that only 22% of men participate in a physical or fitness routine daily, and only 16% of American womenn? And they both spend the MOST time (when not “working”) on watching t.V.!!! Wow…no wonder Americans are the FATTEST nation in the world!!! Those figures are SCARY! Americans need to GET UP OFF YOUR BUTTS!!

  3. Your goverment is paying people not to work . once they got the system down pack its a breese to sit on there butts and let goverment checks roll in..Ive work always with a few lay offs .. I dont have lots of f riends because it discust me to watch other feed there faces off my tax dollar..

    • You are so right, rod. I get so tired of watching my tax dollars go to pay people who are too lazy to get out and get a job. People need to realize that laziness, obesity, and stupidity are NOT disabilities!

  4. Be more concerned with the boys and girls in the suits, publicly funded prvate enterprizes, and corporate welfare. and the human condition dictates that people geenerally have a need to feel productive…it’s in our genetics…. not taking checks for 26 weeks or whatever it is.

    And it’s not called “down pack” it’s called “Down Pat” rod.

    Stats don’t lie. Trow up the coolaid you drank before it’s too late. ok?

  5. I am SOOOO tired of people like Anita (is your last name BRYANT, perhaps???) talking about “tax dollars going to people who are too lazy to get out and get a job”!! That LIE is much more gross now that almost 30 MILLION Americans can’t find a job, Anita!!! I have been unemployed (age 60) for more than a year, and applied at EVERY company in my small town, even fast food! NO ONE WILL HIRE ME! How about this, you creep–I’ll take YOUR job, and you can try living off of ZERO money, and $200 a month of food stamps! What a lie, when the fat cats keep getting richer and richer and richer and…. and “james” you are right on!! We need jobs, we need corporations to PAY their taxes and the rich–even the taxes they paid under Reagan and G. Bush Sr. would be great! If I have NO money coming in, how can I possibly pay ANY bills? I can cut out more and more bills, but still can’t keep a roof over my head! That’s the U.S., stupidly thinking that the bills can be paid, when not enough money is coming in. Anita you are a crock of crap and I bet you have never even taken a SINGLE class in government!

  6. Angela, you WOULD just HAVE to figure out some way to get President Obama’s name in any article, wouldn’t you?! Repubs have turned against his policies on job programs, and in fact every single policy he has tried to create to help this country! They have blocked his appointments to important positions, said “no” to things that previously they had supported, and tried to keep this country from running since day one! And just what is the alternative to President Obama? Look at the HUGE deficit that was present from GW Bush when he took office! All the Republicans want to do is give more and more to the fat cats, not making them pay taxes, letting more companies run overseas or to Mexico and take more of our jobs, take away unions (that right is in the Constitution, by the way!)not make the rich pay taxes (even like they have done previous to Bush Jr.), continue to splurge on military spending, and then cut all of the programs that help people even be able to LIVE (like Social Security) live and not die??? Is that your answer? Well, I WILL vote for Obama in 2012, and hope that the people who have been BLOCKING him since day one will NOT be re-elected!

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