Expert group meeting to finalize the trial International classification of activities for time-use statistics (ICATUS)

11-06-2012  – 13-06-2012 New York

Following a request by the Statistical Commission at its 28th session in 1995, UNSD convened a first expert group meeting in 1997 to prepare a draft classification of activities for time-use statistics. Then, based on the experience of countries that used or adapted this classification as well as on recommendations from a second expert group meeting organized in 2000, a revised and more elaborated version was issued and published in Guide to Producing Statistics on Time Use: Measuring Paid and Unpaid Work (United Nations, 2005) as the UN Trial International Classification of Activities for Time-Use Statistics (ICATUS).

After a lapse of years while several countries adapted ICATUS for application in their data collection, tabulation and analysis, UNSD is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on the revision and finalization of ICATUS. The meeting will bring together around 20 national and international experts to discuss and agree on several topics including: (1) the updates of the current categories (2) the consistency of ICATUS with the new international standards classification; (3) the treatment of more complex aspects (categories such as “looking for work” or “waiting”); (4) the mapping (correspondence tables) between ICATUS and other existing classifications. The final agreed classification will be presented to the UN Statistical Commission for endorsement in 2013, after been reviewed by the Expert Group on International Economic and Social Classifications.

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  • Francesca Grum, Tel.: +1 212 963 4950, E-mail:

Time use workshop for Arabic-speaking countries

25-04-2011  – 28-04-2011 Amman

The Workshop objective is to review methods and practices in collecting, processing and disseminating time-use statistics at the regional and international levels, with a main focus on the design and classification issues pertinent to the measurement of paid and unpaid work.

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Expert group on methods for conducting time-use surveys

13-10-1997  – 16-10-1997 New York

A presentation on the EUROSTAT Pilot Survey on Time Use identified problems related to the specification of activities, but noted that the general survey design proved successful. The presentation on the time-use study in Italy also identified problems with the specification of activities and concluded that improvements in survey methods rather than the classification system were required to improve the amount of information specified in time-use diaries.

With respect to objectives and uses of time-use surveys, the priority uses of and interests in time-use data were discussed by each participant for their country. The most common objectives identified by both developed and developing countries, related to issues of gender and work, specifically the division of labour in the home and improvement in the measurement of women’s unpaid work. A related objective concerned the use of time-use statistics in the preparation of household satellite accounts. Another common objective concerned changes in allocation of time across broad categories of activity.

Plans to undertake national time-use studies in three developing countries -- India, the Philippines and South Africa -- were described. Among the objectives for these surveys are to quantify women’s contribution to economic activities, to measure the extent of child labour, and to understand the relationship between welfare and poverty. The participant from India also included among the objectives the need for information on livelihood strategies and on when people are free of work as a basis for planning skills formation, training and other poverty alleviation programmes.

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