I was looking at the graphics on this article about how Americans spend an average day. This is pretty neat and exciting, but I was confused for a little that only 44% said they had worked yesterday. In particular, the percent of (civilian noninstitutionalized 15+) Americans who are considered in the workforce is about 63%.

The reason appears to be that the numbers from the original surveys were renormalized so that days of the week were equally represented. So the numbers given are not actually quite what I wanted to understand them to mean. There’s actually no day where about 44% of the population will have worked yesterday: instead, there are 5 days a week where almost 63% of the population will have worked, and 2 days a week where very few people work (this is a first approximation, of course, since lots of people work weekends). But now I’m curious to see these charts when separating the weekends from the weekdays, which might give us a better idea of how Americans spend their days (or maybe rather weeks) and allows us to answer other questions that we can’t answer from this data alone (like, how many Americans work Saturday and Sunday).

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