Accessibility links

Work Hours in the U.S.

Business meeting - Young man presenting his ideas to colleagues

Business meeting - Young man presenting his ideas to colleagues

Learn English by reading and listening to the article. Then open the activities on the right side of the page. Skill Level: BEGINNER

Or download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)

What are the usual work hours of Americans? How do Americans spend their free time?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics asked Americans these questions in a survey. The American Time Use Survey began in 2003. It shows how Americans spend their time.

Rachel Krantz-Kent is program manager of the American Time Use Survey. She says that employed men worked, on average, more hours than employed women.

“One of the interesting things we know from the American Time Use Survey is that, on average, American men spend more time working for pay than American women. However, while men work more hours than women, we also observe that women are spending more time providing childcare and doing household work such as cleaning and food preparation.”

Based on the 2010 survey, employed people work an average of seven and a half hours a day. Full-time male workers average 8.2 hours a day. Women average 7.8 hours a day.

More people work on weekdays than on Saturday and Sunday. 82% of employed people work on weekdays. 35% work on weekends.

From 2005 – 2009, over 50% of American workers started their jobs each day by 8:00 a.m.

The report also tells how Americans spend their time away from work. On an average day, nearly everyone watched television, socialized, or exercised. People spent an average of 2.7 hours a day watching television.

Adults 75 years and older averaged 1.1 hours of reading a day on weekends. People between 15 and 19 years old averaged about six minutes of reading a day. People 15 – 19 years old spent more time playing games or using a computer.