Time use, unemployment, and well-being: an empirical analysis using British time-use data
Thi Truong An Hoang, Andreas Knabe – 2019
We use nationally representative data from the UK Time-Use Survey 2014/2015 to investigate how a person’s employment status is related to time use and cognitive and affective dimensions of subjective well-being. We find that unemployed persons report substantially lower levels of life satisfaction than employed persons. When looking at specific types of activities, the unemployed enjoy most of the activities they engage in less than the employed. However, the employed consider working to be one of the least enjoyable activities. They also spend a large share of their time at work and with work-related activities, while the unemployed spend more time on leisure and more enjoyable activities instead. When looking at duration-weighted average affective well-being over the entire waking time of the day, our results suggest that the benefit of having to spend less time at work outweighs the negative emotional effect of unemployment during leisure episodes, such that the unemployed experience, on average, more enjoyment during the day than the employed.