Read of the Day: “Are We Truly Overworked? An Investigation—in 6 Charts”
6:15 pm, May 23rd | by Colette McIntyre
“I’ve just been so busy!” We say it all the time, don’t we? We say it to our mothers when they harangue us for never calling; we say it to our bosses when they ask us for yet another document that we didn’t know s/he needed; we say it to our friends over “quick drinks” and then they say it to us and then we collectively realized that five minutes have passed without our checking our emails and we break out in a sweat. If we all think that we are busy and are operating like we are busy and feel like we’re busy, it must be true…right? Well, according to The Atlantic, we are laboring less than ever:
Complaining about working too much is an American birthright. It distinguishes us from the vacation-happy French and the paid-leave-loving Scandinavians. And in recent years, with wage growth falling behind the rising cost of essentials like health insurance and college tuition, and with technology dissolving the boundaries of the traditional workplace, Americans seem to be working more than ever. But the truth is that we are working less. So why do we feel so busy?
Because they know that we are too busy to read an entire article, The Atlantic has condensed their argument into six charts, and it is a doozy. Take this little factoid about today’s marriages:
This isn’t just a story about the changing nature of work. It’s about the changing nature of marriage. Decades ago, marriage was a pairing of opposites, with husbands working in offices or factories and wives working at home. But since women flooded the labor force, marriage has become an arrangement in which similarly educated, ambitious, and advantaged people are likely to pair off. In other words, the more hours you spend at work, the more likely you are to marry someone who works a lot.
To read the entire investigation (and five other charts), click here.