I just caught a TV news snippet comparing leisure time now to sometime in the 1950s or 60s.
Apparently, we spend 42 hours a week on leisure activities now compared with 36 hours back then. They said something like: We spend more time doing whatever we want now. What has caused this? The rise in the number of part-time jobs.
My guess is that is a result, not a cause.
I’d also guess that we have more leisure time now because we can afford more. We trade work for leisure because things have gotten better and we can afford to — or we can work less to have the lifestyle we prefer.
The rise in part-time jobs may have resulted from being able to afford to choose to work less.
What if we discovered that the average family takes more vacations than they did in the 1950s? What caused this? The rise in the places to go on vacation.
Update: Thanks to ColoComment for the link to the BLS leisure time study press release.