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Changes to the importance of work and leisure

The Worlds Values Survey is periodically conducted in almost 100 countries containing almost 90% of the world’s population. It is used by political scientists, sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists and economists to analyze many topics including the importance of different life activities and subjective well-being.

We dug into the survey data to see if the Great Recession had any impact on how people in the U.S. value work and leisure. The following graph shows the percent of adults who consider work and consider leisure as rather important or very important in their lives.

Importance of work and leisure

As the graph clearly shows, there was a dramatic drop in the importance of work around the time of the Great Recession that has stayed low through last year. The importance of leisure went up.

When we looked at the ratings based on adults’ education levels, in the 2010-2014 survey, there was little difference based on educational attainment for the importance of work. But more adults with college degrees rated leisure as rather/very important (94.0%) than adults with lower levels for education (89.5%).

We will be taking a look at other countries in the future to see how adults there compare.

About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 30-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri , has worked for over 550 clients in 36 countries in North and Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Projects the company has produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment, play and leisure facilities. Randy was featured on the Food Network’s Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company’s projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment. Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He has authored over 100 articles that have been published in leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker at conventions of over 20 different leisure trade groups. Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter - https://twitter.com/whitehutchinson
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