Millennial men are even more old-fashioned, lazy and sexist than their fathers and grandfathers – at least when it comes to sharing out the housework.
New 2016 census figures, released on Monday, showed men in their 20s and 30s were putting in half as much effort around the house as their fathers and grandfathers put in, leaving the lion’s share of the work to women.
In the workplace, meanwhile, men were earning far more than women, even though they were not, on average, putting in proportionally more hours.
The figures, collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that in 2016, 1.37 million women in Australia did more than 30 hours ‘unpaid housework’ a week.
That was more than four times the number of men – 334,000 – who did the same amount of housework.
But for 25 to 34-year-olds – the core cohort of the so-called ‘millennial’ generation – the ratio was much, much worse.
The number of millennial women doing 30 hours of housework stood at 254,000, compared with a paltry 32,000 men.
That worked out as a ratio of eight to one – that is, twice the average across the generations.
Surprisingly perhaps, baby boomers (65 to 74-year-olds) appeared to be the most progressive, with a ratio of less than three women for every one man doing more than 30 hours of housework.
Common sense may suggest one possible explanation for this huge disequilibrium between millennial men and women: a lot of women at that age are off work looking after young children.
That, common sense may suggest, would mean they are spending pretty much all their time doing ‘unpaid housework’.
But the figures simply did not bear this out.
According to the census, just over one million men aged 25 to 34 were employed full-time, compared with just under 700,000 women. In other words the ratio wasn’t even two to one.
To rule out male laziness, the figure would have to be eight to one.
However, one mitigating factor for these apparently lazy millennial men may be that they are spending more hours in paid work than their female peers.
The census showed 1.192 million men across all generations worked more than 49 hours a week in 2016.
That was almost three times the number of women (416,000) who worked similarly long hours – still well below the eight to one ratio.
The ABS did not break down these figures by age and sex, meaning the figures for millennial men and women are not known.
Workplace gender equality a long way off
Overall, the census figures painted a pretty gloomy picture of workplace gender equality.
This gloom was most aptly demonstrated through the gender pay gap.
In 2016, 419,000 men earned more than $3000 a week. That compared with just 120,000 women.
(The overall number of women in the workforce, incidentally, was almost equal to that of men – 5.1 million to 5.6 million, so that has nothing to do with it.)
The gender spread on the top corporate jobs was also telling. In 2016, there were 85,000 men in chief executive, managing director or legislator roles. That compared with 29,000 women – about one-third the figure.
But while there may be a long way to go, the historic figures showed there had been some progress in the last 10 years.
In 2006, there were 68,000 male chief executives, general managers and legislators, compared with 19,000 female – or 3.5 times as many men as women, compared with 2.9 as many in 2016.
And more than four times as many men as women earned more than $2000 a week in 2006. In 2016 it was just 2.7 times as many.