General Social Survey - Time Use (GSS)
Summary of changes
Activity on this program started: 1986
The Time Use Survey has made several changes for 2022 compared to previous iterations. The first change is the frame that is used to select the sample. The survey is now using a dwelling-based frame instead of a telephone-based frame.
A number of content changes were also made. In the diary portion of the questionnaire, the number of activities available to choose from has increased and the organization of categories now takes the form of a two-level hierarchical tree to make searching for a specific activity easier. In 2022, only one simultaneous activity can be selected per episode. This discourages grouping multiple different activities together in one episode. In addition, two questions have been added to the diary:
- A follow-up question for unpaid work activities, asking for whom the work or care was done;
- A follow-up question if no 'eating' activities are mentioned during the 24-hour period.
The following content has been added to the rest of the survey:
- A question about gender identity, in addition to sex at birth;
- A module on childcare for households with at least one child aged 14 or under, and at least two household members aged 15 or older;
- A module on telework for respondents who worked for pay in the past week and who are employees;
- Additional questions about transportation and access to transportation.
Key objectives of the "Time Use" GSS (cycle 29) are:
- to better understand how Canadians spend and manage their time and what contributes to their well-being and stress;
- to answer important questions about the lives of Canadians, such as:
Are we working too many hours and spending too much time commuting?
Do we have flexible work schedules?
Do we have enough time to play sports, participate in leisure activities or volunteer?
Are we spending enough quality time with our children, our families and our friends?
How has the internet and social media affect the way we spend our time?
Are we satisfied with our lives?
Instrument design - Light Time Use Diary
The list of activities has been revised and reduced to 64 activities from the 72 found in the pilot test. Some of the codes were streamlined to facilitate respondent's self completion.
Sampling - Uses Statistics Canada's new telephone sampling frame. The frame contains landline and cellular telephone numbers. Replaced the Random Digit Dialing frame.
The focus of this cycle is on Time stress and well-being.
New modules such as those on transportation and close social network ties were included. As well, in order to include more content in the survey, it was decided to split the sample. Half of the respondents were asked the questions on cultural and sports activities and the other half, questions on social networks and transportation. Although Cycle 19 has used a different CATI system (i.e., Blaise), the same methodology of providing screens to assist in coding the episode details was being used. The activity codes for the 2005 GSS time diaries related to Internet use were expanded to include email, chat and other kinds of electronic communication. New opportunities also exist for comparing the time use of US residents with that of Canadians, given modifications to the 2005 GSS "where were you" component of the diary. And finally, the increased sample size from 11,000 to close to 20,000 opens new possibilities for detailed analysis of smaller population sub-groups.
The core content of time use repeats that of Cycle 7 (1992) and Cycle 2 (1986), and provides data on the daily activities of Canadians. Question modules were also included on unpaid work activities, cultural activities and participation in sports.
Core content for Cycle 7 was again time use, first covered in the 1986 GSS. The diary approach used in Cycle 2 was repeated. Coding of activities was expanded. A main objective of the cycle was the measurement of unpaid work including domestic work, childcare, volunteer work, etc. Also included were questions to measure participation in sport and cultural activities. These questions were sponsored by Sports Canada, and various government departments and cultural organizations.
In Cycle 2, the core content on time use and social mobility covered the topics of daily activities done on own and with others, inter- and intra-generational mobility, and personal well-being.