It's obvious to say the unemployed population has more time on their hands because they're not spending their days in offices. The American Time Use Survey asked thousands of employed and unemployed people to learn more about the differences in time spent by these two groups. Below are some of the survey's conclusions.
- On an average weekday, someone who's unemployed sleeps an hour more than an employed individual.
- An unemployed person spends two hours each day (at least twice as much time as someone with a job) doing house or yard work.
- Someone who's unemployed spends an additional hour in the classroom and 70 more minutes watching TV than someone who's employed.
Economists use the survey to try and value the time of those without a paycheck, and Daniel S. Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin commented, "If all we were doing is substituting production at home for production in the marketplace, then maybe unemployment wouldn't be so bad."