A survey by the Metropolitan Chicago Information Center reports that 40 percent of 3,000 area residents questioned say they have less free time than a year ago. And a Hilton Time Values Survey of 1,010 adults shows Americans are losing their race against the clock -- by an average of seven hours a week.
The Hilton study found that the average American has 19 hours of free time each week to spend on leisure activities, but wants 26 hours. The 27 percent shortfall is called "missed" time.
"The amount of 'missing' time is about equal for women, men, single and married respondents," said John P. Robinson, director of the Americans' Use of Time project at the University of Maryland.
Mr. Robinson, who interpreted the survey findings for Hilton Hotels & Resorts, reports that among full-time workers, the gap between ideal and actual free time rose to 34 percent: They had only 17.6 free hours a week but wanted 26.3. Employed women had only 12 hours for leisure each week, the least amount of free time; on the average they wanted 20.1 hours a week.
And almost half of U.S. workers say they would give up a day's pay for an extra day off each week.
"We are at a point in history where the value of time is reaching parity with the value of money," said Mr. Robinson, who has studied time, attitudes and social trends for 25 years.
Other Hilton findings:
* 21 percent say they "don't have time for fun anymore."
* 38 percent cut back on sleep to "make" more time.
* 20 percent called in sick at least once in the last year to take time to relax.
* 29 percent constantly feel stressed.
Job market for grads
Many members of the class of 1991 report that they are having a tough time finding work during the economic downturn.
Placement officers at universities report that on-campus recruitment for jobs dropped by as much as 25 percent this year and that there has been a significant increase in the number of seniors graduating without having found jobs.
No exact figures were available on the number of graduating seniors who have been unable to find jobs because placement officers don't generally receive that type of information until well after graduation.
"It's nationwide. It's being hit the hardest in the Northeast. As far as recruitment in the Northeast, students are going to definitely have to relocate out of here," said Dawn Oberman, a statistician with the College Placement Council Inc., based in Bethlehem, Pa.