BLS Rundown: How We're Spending Our Holiday

What activities do you have planned for this Thanksgiving? Perhaps cooking and enjoying a meal with family or friends, playing sports or watching sports on television, doing volunteer work, or shopping?

For most of us, this holiday still means a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner; however, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that throughout the year Americans are spending a greater percentage of their food dollars on food away from home--that is, at restaurants instead of at the grocery store. The portion of the family-of-four food budget spent on food away from home increased from 36 to 43 percent from 1984 to 2006.

Preparing and eating food and watching television are common activities for today. On Thanksgiving holiday weekends between 2003 and 2006, Americans who prepared meals spent an average of 1.1 hours per day doing so, while eating and drinking occupied 1.2 hours per day. Those who watched television spent an average of 3.7 hours per day doing so.

Of the Americans who did volunteer work in 2006, more than 60 percent were affiliated with a religious or educational or youth service organization.

For more information about how American spend their time, both today and the rest of the year, access the American Time Use Survey at www.bls.gov/tus.

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