BLS: Unemployed More Likely to Go Shopping on Average Day Than Look for Job

By Ali Meyer | September 8, 2014 | 5:06 PM EDT

 

(CNSNews.com) - On the average day, an unemployed American is more likely to be shopping—for things other than groceries and gas---than to be looking for a new job, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Only 18.9 percent of Americans who were unemployed (in surveys conducted from 2009 through 2013) spent time in job search and interviewing activities on an average day, according to BLS. Yet 40.8 percent of the unemployed did some kind of shopping on the average day--either in a store, by telephone, or on the Internet. 22.5 percent of the unemployed, according to BLS, were shopping for items other than groceries, food and gas.

The “unemployed” are defined as individuals who are jobless, available for work, and actively looking for a job.  But the BLS data shows that looking for a job may not be the most time-consuming activity in the unemployed Americans average day.The BLS conducts a study called the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) which tracks how Americans spend their time doing various activities during a given day.

“The goal of the survey is to measure how people divide their time among life’s activities,” explains the BLS. “Individuals are randomly selected from subset of households that have completed their eighth and final month of interviews for the Current Population Survey (CPS). ATUS respondents are interviewed only one time about how they spent their time on the previous day, where they were, and whom they were with.”

While only 18.9 percent of the unemployed said they spent time during the previous day in job-search and interviewing activities on an average day, the survey shows that when someone was looking for a job they spent an average of only 2.48 hours of the day doing so.

An unemployed person—on the average day—was more likely to spend time on shopping, sports and recreation, socializing and leisure, than they were searching for and interviewing for a new job, according to BLS.

According to BLS, 96.7 percent of the unemployed spent time during the average day participating in “socializing, relaxing, and leisure” activities and spent, on average, 5.93 hours on those activities—or more than twice the number of hours they spent job searching.

Only 71.9 percent of the unemployed washed, dressed and groomed themselves on the average day, according to BLS. That means that 28.1 percent of the unemployed did not wash, dress and groom themselves on the average day.

Nearly all of the unemployed--99.9 percent--reported sleeping on an average day. On average, they dedicated 9.24 hours to that activity.

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