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General Social Survey: Paid and unpaid work 2005

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The Daily
Statistics Canada
government document
Publication Date: 
19 Jul 2006

Excerpts: Article in The Daily analyses overall trends in time spent by men and women on paid work versus unpaid work such as housework, child care and other household duties. While women have made dramatic breakthroughs in the job market, men have only gradually been getting into housework. However, the study shows that although gender differences in the division of labour are still evident, they are slowly breaking down. … The gain for women came entirely from paid work. In 2005, they spent an average of 4.4hours at the office, up from 3.3 in1986. This more than offset a half-hour decline in unpaid work from 4.8 hours to 4.3 hours. The jump in the average time women spend in paid labour is attributable not only to time spent on the job, but also to an increase in their participation rate. Canadian women have one of the highest labour force participation rates in the world, a rate that is converging with that of men. For example, in 1986, the participation rate for men aged 25 to 54 was 94%, compared with only 70% for their female counterparts, a gap of 24 percentage points. By 2005, the rate for men had edged down to 91%, while that for women had surged to 81%, a gap of only 10 points. The study also found that women generally tend to feel more stressed for time than men do, regardless of how long the workday is, or whether they have children. However, although time-stressed, the majority of dual-earner husbands and wives felt satisfied with their life as a whole, the study found.