Continuing my series of blog posts on Irish Household Sports Expenditures (previous posts here and here), the following looks at livelihood status of the household reference person (HRP). Livelihood status is categorised in the Household Budget Survey (HBS) as follows: self-employed, retired, employee, unemployed and other (including students and those on homes duties). The table below shows the shares of each group in the 2009-10 and 2015-16 Household Budget Surveys (HBS).
To explore this further, the graphs below show weekly expenditure data for the 4 categories of sports analysed in previous blog posts by livelihood status using both the 2009-10 and 2015-16 HBS data (Note again that the 2009-10 expenditure data has been deflated to provide a more appropriate comparison).
For the other three expenditure categories, there are increases across all livelihood status, significantly so for participant sports and subscriptions to sports and social clubs and less so for fees to leisure classes. The leisure time and work time trade off assumption therefore does not appear to hold for these items. Thus even though there have been increases in work time (i.e. increases in the proportion of employees), there have also been increases in spending on participant sports and subscriptions to sports and social clubs in particular. I previously speculated that the level of increase in these categories could be due to increased awareness of health benefits and shift in preferences from work to leisure time. The data here seem to support this.
Of course, I’m making somewhat of a leap in equating spending with time. There could be a lot of people spending money on sports/leisure but not the time (although there could equally be a lot of people spending time on sports/leisure but not the money so one may cancel out the other). But the figures are positive and do suggest that people are finding time for both work and leisure reflecting a view that both can be complementary rather than substitutes for one another.