Despite its label of the "no vacation-nation," leisure time in the United States has actually increased in the past 40 years, according to a new study. Men work less in the market than they used to. And women have gained leisure time, thanks to declines in work they do in the home.
The study, published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics finds that while women work more in the job market, they also spend around 10 hours less per week on domestic duties than they used to.
Study co-author Erik Hurst, a professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, says he and his colleagues reviewed Bureau of Labor statistics to determine how Americans have balanced work and leisure in recent decades.
"Basically, men work less for paid employment now than they did 40 years ago," Hurst said.
Hurst said of the average working man in America, "They watch a lot more TV now; they work a lot less now for paid employment."
But that hasn't necessarily translated into a general feeling of calm and relaxation for American workers, Hurst told NPR's Renee Montagne.
Noting that time and money are finite resources, "If you asked our parents how much time-crunched they felt, and how over-worked they felt 40 years ago, they probably would have given similar answers to today's generation."