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Occupations - AllOccupations - MaleOccupations - Female

Occupations in Beeston, April 1861

Industry GroupOccupation Group  Total Population Heads of Household  Wives
.Land Services2.440.440.0
ManufactureManufacture/Wholesale - Food/drink.880.880.0
.Manufacture/Wholesale - Other.22202.12120.0
.Labour - General3.23230.19190.0
MiningQuarry, etc5.431.431.0
.Gloves, etc10.550.440.0
.Other textile.000.000.0
TradeRetail - food/drink.574710.45378.0
.Retail - other.24186.16133.2
.Total Employed.16581002656.66459371.149
.Own Means13.1899.1266.0
.At School.453213240.000.0
.Not Employed.1062272790.28325.393
.Overall Total.319114961695.704602102.542

The table reveals a number of interesting facts relating to the pattern of employment in Beeston in April 1861 and the changes since 1851:
Although the overall population size had risen modestly (by only 175 - about 6%) since 1851, this masks some interesting underlying trends. In fact, the ten year comparison shows that the total for those in employment has actually dropped by 4%. Looking at these changes further, it is clear that while the female population has risen at a slightly greater rate than the male population (+7% female, +4% male) the drop in employed persons has been almost entirely amongst the female population (down by 11%).

This male/female shift has resulted in an even greater increase in the ratio of females to males in the total population; whilst in 1851 females outnumbered males by almost 10%, in 1861 this imbalance had risen to over 13%. A large increase in the number of wives (up 17%), coupled with a similarly dramatic decrease in the proportion of wives who were employed outside the home (down from 37% to 27%), may imply a younger, relatively newly married population. The increase on the number in education (up 26%) may also be an indication of this.

Changes in the occupational profile of the population are also evident:
  • 57% of the working population is working in the textile industry (53% of working males, 64% of working females)
    This is a decrease both in absolute terms (952 from 1108 in 1851) and in the proportion of those working (was 64% - 60% male, 71% female in 1851)
  • At 25%, the proportion of the working population working in the lace industry is unchanged (30% of working males, 17% of working females in both years)
  • 46% of household heads are working in textiles (down from 50% in 1851), 26% of them in the lace industry (25% in 1851)
    This, however, masks a small drop in the actual number employed in the lace trade (down by 13, mostly women)
  • There was a futher decline in the proportion of the working population employed in hosiery and glove knitting. Now 9% compared with 16% in 1851
  • The proportion of the working population employed in agriculture and horticulture combined, rose slightly to 9% from less than 8%
Behind these overall facts - which themselves beg many questions - we might expect to be able to discover evidence relating to industry trends, the effect of immigration and emigration on the workforce and of social trends - including the employment of women and children. Later, we would hope to study more detailed social trends, such as birth and death rates, family size, etc.

As a start, we have prepared a breakdown of the population by gender and age. To view these, choose from the following options:

Click to view our analysis of the male population by Age and Occupational Groupings in 1861 (and in 1851)

Click to view our analysis of the female population by Age and Occupational Groupings in 1861 (and in 1851)

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Notes on Methods :This, and other analyses of the Beeston census, have been prepared from the author's database of Beeston database which includes transcriptions of all available censuses. The author's own industry and occupational classifications have been used; these attempt to present an analysis based, wherever possible, entirely on industrial groupings and without, for example, considerations of social class14; in particular, ancillary workers (such as factory engine drivers, clerks, managers, etc) have been included in the respective industry totals as it is felt that this reflects more accurately the effect of that industry on the local economy - although the numbers involved are relatively small. Another example of the effect of this is that station masters, railway engine drivers, railway booking clerks and station porters would all be classified in the "Transport:Railway" as they all contribute to running the railway and are working in that role because of the existence of that railway. In particular, the analysis attempts to avoid factors relating to social class - such as those included to some degree by Tillott15 and by Armstrong16 in studies elsewhere. Analysis by this dimension will be attempted separately at another time.

The figures for "Wives" only include those who are recorded as living with their husbands who are recorded as Head of Household.

Notes on occupation groupings
1Includes masons, architects, bricklayers, plumbers, joiners, painters, etc and their apprentices
2Includes gamekeepers, veterinaries, land surveyors, etc
3Labourers not identifiable to a specific industry
4Included to quantify a major industry not present before about 1875
5Includes brickyard workers
6Includes clerks & bookkeepers (except those associated with specific industries), insurance workers, bankers, house agents, etc
7Includes local and state officials, military, police, firemen, tax collectors, etc
8Includes hairdressers, chimney sweeps, piano tuners and others performing services for individuals.
9Includes winders, etc who may be more specifically part of the lace industry
10Those making gloves and similar products, usually on knitting frames; an extension of the hosiery industry
11Includes blacksmiths, shoemakers, cabinet makers, saddlers, printers, tinsmiths, etc and their apprentices
12Includes tailors, dressmakers, bonnet makers, stay makers, shirt makers, etc
13Living on personal wealth, annuities, share and property income, etc

Source References
14Similar to that used by Charles Booth, in 1886 for his social survey, Life and Labour of the People of London - but with much less detail and with an emphasis relative to local occupations.
15P. M. Tillott - who devised a classification used in census analysis by extra-mural classes in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in the 1960s
16Alan Armstrong, Stability and Change in an English County Town - A Social Study of York 1801-51, Cambridge University Press

© David Hallam - 2008