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Information from the Time Use Survey: Education

Time Use Survey: Education Results: 1999

Information from the Time Use Survey: Education

New information from the Time Use Survey shows for the first time the full extent of time that New Zealanders spend on education activities, said Government Statistician, Len Cook. This release presents the main points of the findings.

The relationship between paid work and education for young people The survey shows interesting contrasts in the education and training participation of young people in part-time employment compared with those not in the labour force. Young people in full-time work spend very little time, on average, in education and training, including training that takes place in work time.

Twelve-17 year olds
Twelve-17 year olds employed part time and who have no children, spend an average of 1.4 hours per day in labour force activity and 3.8 hours per day in education and training, averaged over a seven-day week. This compares with 4.6 hours of education and training spent by 12-17 year olds who are not in the labour force. The time in paid work is mostly at the expense of a little less time in education - more for young women than young men - and less free time. Twelve-17 year olds in part-time work have 5.5 hours free time per day, while those not in the labour force have 5.9 hours. Both groups, employed and not in the labour force, spend similar amounts of time on personal care and unpaid work. Not in the labour force means those neither working nor actively seeking work.

Both 12-17 year old females and males (who are not parents themselves) spend similar amounts of time on education and training ? 4.1 hours per day over a seven-day week for females and 4.2 hours for males. Maori and non-Maori in this age group also spend similar time on education ? 4.0 hours for Maori and 4.2 for non-Maori. Time spent on homework and study The Time Use Survey is the only data source which shows how much time school-age people spend on homework and study. The average time for all 12-17 year olds is 36 minutes per day over a seven-day week. Those who reported doing homework during the survey period spent an average of 1.7 hours a day studying. Of all the surveyed days in this age group, 36 percent recorded time on homework or study. This proportion was the same for males and females, but was 30 percent for Maori and 38 percent for non-Maori. Those employed part-time who recorded doing homework spent an average of 11 more minutes a day on homework than those not in the labour force. This may reflect the older age of students with part-time jobs.

Eighteen-24 year olds
The pattern for 18-24 year olds who are not parents, particularly part-time employed men and women, is a little different from 12-17 year olds. Those in part-time employment spend less time in education compared with those not in the labour force (2.6 hours per day compared with 3.8 hours a day, on average). The part-time employed 18-24 year olds spend less time on personal care and have less free time. Men and women in this age group combine part-time paid work, unpaid work and education differently. They spend similar times on part-time paid work, but the men spend more time on education (2.8 hours compared with 2.4 hours), half as much time on unpaid work (1.1 hours compared with 2.4 hours), and have over half an hour more free time per day (5.4 hours compared with 4.8 hours). Eighteen-24 year old men and women who are not in the labour force spend similar time on education (3.7 hours compared with 3.9 hours), but again men do less unpaid work (1.5 hours compared with 2.3 hours) and have more free time (6.2 hours compared with 4.6 hours). This shows a gender difference in unpaid work responsibilities for 18-24 year olds, even among those who are not parents. This applies to young women combining part-time work with education, as much as it does to those with no labour market participation. The result is that young women have less free time than young men. "Young women appear to do much more unpaid work than their male counterparts," said Judy Lawrence, Chief Executive, Ministry of Women's Affairs. "We need to focus analysis on the extent of the impact on their participation in education and training in order to develop an informed policy response." The participation in education and training by Maori and non-Maori 18-24 year olds differs compared with the younger age group. Overall, Maori 18-24 year olds spend, on average, 1.0 hour per day in education and training compared to their non-Maori counterparts who spend 1.7 hours per day.

Other Time Use Survey information on education Education and training beyond 25 People aged 25 or over who participated in education and training spent an average 3.1 hours per day for men and 3.9 hours for women. This suggests those from age 25 undertake education and training in sizeable blocks of time. These blocks of time are bigger for those not working or working part time, compared with full-time workers. In this age group, about 6 percent of women?s surveyed days and 4 percent of men?s recorded time on education and training.

Overall, those who already had qualifications were more likely to participate in education and training than those with no qualifications. However, women without qualifications are more likely to be in education and training than men without qualifications. Travel to and from education Young people spend considerably longer travelling to and from education or training than people spend travelling to and from paid work. This may reflect young people?s mode of transport (eg walking or cycling) rather than the distance they have to travel. On average, 12-17 year olds who recorded travel time to or from education institutions spent 59 minutes per day, while 18-24 year olds spent 52 minutes. This compares with the average time of 44 minutes per day which is spent travelling to and from paid work.

Helping with educational activities People who recorded helping household members with educational activities spent on average 39 minutes a day. This average varies very little between mothers and fathers,Maori and non-Maori, single and two-parent families, and those on higher or lower incomes. Nine percent of the surveyed days of parents recorded helping household members with educational activities - Mothers? surveyed days (11 percent) were twice as high as fathers? (5 percent). Most of this activity happened on weekdays rather than weekends. Unpaid work for educational institutions People who participated in unpaid work for non-profit organisations in the education sector spent an average of 2.1 hours a day on this activity. Women and men spent close to the same amount of time, but 2 percent of women?s surveyed days and 1 percent of men’s recorded time on this. Maori participants spend more time than non-Maori, 2.6 hours compared with 2.1 hours.

This type of activity includes work for boards of trustees, working unpaid in the classroom, preparing school resources, fund-raising etc. Parent time spent helping with homework and working unpaid at schools and other education institutions is vital,? said Judy Lawrence. This unpaid activity is critical to the achievement levels of future generations and we should acknowledge the time and effort that parents put in.? The Time Use Survey The Time Use Survey was conducted over a full year, from July 1998 to June 1999. It gathered information on time use by women and men, and Maori and non-Maori aged 12 years and over living in private households. A full report on the Time Use Survey is scheduled for later in 2000.

Judy Lawrence

Len Cook


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