Why do married men and women work longer than unmarried?

I stumbled on an interesting statistic this morning as I was perusing the web for, well, interesting stuff. This one is about the average working hours of married men and women vs. those who are unmarried.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Married men work an average of 4.6 more hours per week compared with unmarried men.

Married women work 1.6 hours more.

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Some thoughts that might account for this discrepancy:

  • Married men and women are older and have developed a more “sophisticated” work ethic?
  • Married men and women are deeper into their careers where workloads are heavier and job demands are greater
  • Their home life isn’t the best, and work is their escape?

Also interesting: The average number of weekly hours worked by those in the sweet spot of their careers (between 25 and 54) was just over 40 hours which, if you look at some of the working hours among those in the personal finance community, isn’t bad.

In fact, working just 40 hours a week feels like a cherry gig!

I worked 40 hours a week early in my career, but that quickly escalated to 50, 60 and sometimes much more. But, I’ve also known folks to regularly pull 120 hour work weeks which, frankly, sounds downright awful.

Other interesting working statistics

The BLS is a wealth of information, and I’m a sucker for statistics – even though I’m well aware they are, what my former statistics professor used to tell us, the “art of deception”.

From this survey:

  • Many more people worked on weekdays than on weekend days: 82 percent of employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 33 percent on an average weekend day.
  • Multiple jobholders were more likely to work on an average weekday than were single jobholders—92 percent, compared with 81 percent.
  • On the days they worked, 83 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at their workplace and 23 percent did some or all of their work at home. Employed persons spent more time working at the workplace than at home—8.0 hours, compared with 3.1 hours.
  • Among workers age 25 and over, those with an advanced degree were more likely to work at home than were persons with lower levels of educational attainment—46 percent of those with an advanced degree performed some work at home on days worked, compared with 12 percent of those with a high school diploma. Workers with an advanced degree also were more likely to work on an average day than were those with a high school diploma—73 percent, compared with 68 percent.

Notice the increasing propensity of the workforce working from home for at least part of their job responsibilities. Nearly a quarter are doing that!

And, the more advanced your degree is, the more likely you’ll work a portion of your job from home. This might indicate that advanced degree holders are working more with computers and other technology-related jobs, most of which can be done from anywhere.

This article originally appeared on ThinkSaveRetire. 

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