Well, not exactly, at least historically speaking.
Several years ago, economists Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst studied work and leisure trends over the last 40 years. They noticed that, in the 1960s, most men—regardless of their education, which serves as a proxy for income—worked the same amount of hours, about 50 per week, and spent about 105 hours dedicated to leisure activities. By 2003, a divergence emerged that mirrored growing income inequality: Men with less than 12 years of education worked, on average, 37.5 hours a week, while more educated (higher-earning) men worked 43.4 hours. Both groups gained more leisure time (socializing, watching TV, playing sports), though the less educated group spent about 6 to 7 more hours a week engaged in leisure activities than their more educated (and presumably higher-earning) peers.
About a decade later, it’s still the case. The figure below plots hours worked over the last decade by education for employed Americans ages 18 to 65, from the U.S. Census American Time Use Survey.
It’s still true that the more education you have, the more hours you work each week. But Americans of all education levels are working less than in 2007, just as the U.S. headed into the recession.