Having leisure time is now a marker for poverty, not riches



Post-Industrious Society: Why Work Time will not Disappear for our Grandchildren
researchers from Oxford’s Centre for Time Use Research argue that there
has been a radical shift in the relationship between leisure, work and
income. Where once leisure time was a mark of affluence, now it is a
marker for poverty. The richer you are, the more likely you are to work
long hours; while the poorer you are, the fewer hours you are likely to
work every week.

The researchers theorise multiple causes for this. Poor people are more
likely to be underemployed and unable to get the work-hours they want
(and need) to support themselves. Rich people are likely to work in jobs
that disproportionately advance and reward workers who put in overtime,
so a 10% increase in hours worked generates more than 10% in expected

They also claim that rich workers are more likely to be satisfied with
their jobs, but I’m skeptical of this – I think that relative to
unskilled workers doing at-will 0-hours temp work whose every move is
constrained and scripted by their employers, this is probably true, but I
don’t think that the white-collar world is producing a lot of people
who think that their work is meaningful and rewarding.

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