Man Yee Kann, University of Oxford
Sequence analysis is a useful tool for analysing time diary data, which provide detailed information about frequency and duration of daily activities (e.g. paid work, housework, leisure and rest) as well as sequences of these activities. We conduct optimal matching analyses (OM) on "workweek-grid" data from the UK Time Use Survey (2000-01) and the French Time Use Survey (1998-99) which provides detailed information on the scheduling of paid work over a week with 15-minute time slots. A special case of Optimal matching (Dynamic Hamming Matching) with no insertion and deletion operations is used in order to avoid altering the structure and length of workweeks. This variant is applied in two steps. First, we derive typologies of workdays by applying OM on the days worked. Second, based on the typologies of workdays, we build simplified work weeks and typologies of workweeks.
The typologies of workdays and workweeks are very similar in the two countries, but the proportions of these various types of workdays and workweeks differ, especially for the case of part-time workweeks. In the UK, the most common type of part-time work is the "short work week part-time": workers on average work for three days a week but many of them have standard or part-time work hours on their work days. In France, "part work week, standard hour part-time" is the most common type of part-time work: workers on average work for 3.5 days a week, but most of them have standard hour work days. We conduct multiple correspondence analyses and multinomial logistic regressions to examine the relationship between workweeks and workers' characteristics. In both countries, the two main factors accounting for the distribution of workweeks among workers are the overall economic position of workers (e.g. skills, educational level and pay) and industry (industrial and manufacturing sectors, and the high-skilled and low-skilled service sectors). Standard work week and long-hour work week are associated with high-skill and high-pay occupations. However, in the case of France, professionals, managers and executives tend to have long hour work weeks. Atypical work weeks (e.g. part-time and shift work) are associated with low-skill and-low pay occupations. Those who work in the industrial sector tend to have shift work weeks, and those in the service sector tend to have part-time work weeks.
A related discussion paper, focusing on the methods applied for the analyses of workdays and workweeks is available at http://www.sociology.ox.ac.uk/documents/working-papers/2009/swp09_04.pdf .