In the recession period, population spent their time differently by an economic development one. In our view, the economic crisis has a major negative impact on the working time. On the basis of data provided by two statistical surveys (Time Use Survey and Labour Force Survey), the paper will analyze the current situation of the working hours of Romanian population and it presents a comparison between the total time spent at work in the period 2008-2009 and the hours spent at working places in a normal period of economic growth (2000). Underemployment is high in the crisis time. There are at least two mechanisms through which working hours fall at the level of national economy: one of them has a short term impact on the labour market deriving from the government measures and policies against the recession. The second mechanism is a consequence of the decrease of production, phenomenon with a real long term impact on the level of employment. In this study we will also analyze how the crises modify the general characteristics of the labour market.