Apr 14 -- The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) invites comments by June 13, 2022 regarding the planned renewal of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) for three years. There are no changes to the ATUS interview.
The ATUS is the Nation's first federally administered, continuous survey on time use in the United States. It measures, for example, time spent with children, working, sleeping, or doing leisure activities. In the United States, several existing Federal surveys collect income and wage data for individuals and families, and analysts often use such measures of material prosperity as proxies for quality of life. Time-use data substantially augment these quality-of-life measures. The data also can be used in conjunction with wage data to evaluate the contribution of non-market work to national economies. This enables comparisons of production between nations that have different mixes of market and non-market activities.
The ATUS develops nationally representative estimates of how people spend their time. Respondents also report who was with them during activities, where they were, how long each activity lasted, and if they were paid. All of this information has numerous practical applications for sociologists, economists, educators, government policymakers, businesspersons, health researchers, and others, answering questions such as:
Do the ways people use their time vary across demographic and labor force characteristics, such as age, sex, race, ethnicity, employment status, earnings, and education?
How much time do parents spend in the company of their children, either actively providing care or being with them while socializing, relaxing, or doing other things? How has this changed over time?
How are earnings related to leisure time—do those with higher earnings spend more or less time relaxing and socializing?
How much time do people spend working at their workplaces and in their homes?
The ATUS data are collected on an ongoing basis nearly every day of the year, allowing analysts to identify changes in how people spend their time. Collection is done on a continuous basis with the sample drawn monthly. The survey sample is drawn from households completing their 8th month of interviews for the Current Population Survey (CPS). Households are selected to ensure a nationally-representative demographic sample, and one individual from each household is selected to take part in one Computer Assisted Telephone Interview. Interviewers ask respondents to report all of their activities for one pre-assigned 24-hour day, the day prior to the interview. A short series of summary questions and CPS updates follows the core time diary collection. After each full year of collection, annual national estimates of time use for an average day, weekday, and weekend day are published.
Because the ATUS sample is a subset of households completing interviews for the CPS, the same demographic information collected from that survey is available for ATUS respondents. Comparisons of activity patterns across characteristics such as sex, race, age, disability status, and education of the respondent, as well as the presence of children and the number of adults living in the respondent's household, are possible.
ATUS webpage: https://www.bls.gov/tus/
ATUS questionnaire: https://www.bls.gov/tus/tuquestionnaire.pdf
Proposed 2022-2025 ATUS technical documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qya5hkxblpjhee5/AABQXiXS_t7QjEYepocL3MgJa?dl=0