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Occupations - AllOccupations - MaleOccupations - Female

Occupations of Females in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, April 1891

Industry GroupOccupation GroupFemales Analysed by Age
All AgesUnder 66-1011-1516-2021-3031-5051-70>70
Land Services0
ManufactureMfr/W-sale - Food/drink0
Mfr/W-sale - Other1846422
Labour - General211
MiningQuarry, etc0
Other textile37611146
Gloves, etc0
TradeRetail - food/drink372381842
Retail - other34269143
Total Employed103203176302289192619
Own Means9119214317
At School62412333615771
Not Employed195651180517136259024447
Overall Total370363441938438166180334873

The above table sets out our analysis of the female population of Beeston in April 1891, by industry/occupation and by age band. A similar table for the male population can be seen by clicking here. Each of these tables have been prepared based on the principles described in connection with the overall population table which can be seen here.

The table can be used to observe and quantify certain characteristics and trends within the population and, in particular, within the working population:
The employment rate amongst the over-15 female population was 37.6%, a signifant reduction from 43% in 1881 which, in turn, continued a downward trend over previous decades - from 48% in 1871, just over 50% in 1861 and almost 58% in 1851. Some of this change can be explained by an increase in those females who were living on private means - now 91 or 4.0% of the female population. However,beyond this, this very significant downward trend will need further research to attempt an explaination but may be connected with an increasing proportion of married women in the population. Again, there is an increase in the number of married women in the population, to 1134 (from 763 in 1881, 577 in 1871, 542 in 1861, 462 in 1851)although the proportion of women over 15 who are married is slightly down, at 50.0%. (it was 51.1% in 1881 and had been 54% in 1861 and 1871 but only 47% in 1851).

The average age of all female workers was 26.6 years,a marked decrease from 1881 when it was 29.5 years, essentially the same as in 1871 when it was 29.4 years; As always, there were significant variations acreoss the occupational sectors that had contributed to this overall picture:

The textile sector continued to be account for the majority of female employment, with the numbers employed having now reached 527 or 51.1 of all female employment. This was a % increase on 1881 when the numer employed was 374 (50.0% of all working female). Again, this overall picture masks differences in the detail:
The average age of a female lace industry worker was 23.4 years, very much down from 30.3 years in 1881. It is likely, subject to further research, that this was caused by the availabilty of a large number of relatively unskilled jobs which were made available to younger workers, particularly girls, at Frank Wilkinson's lace curtain Anglo Scotian Mills factory which opened in Beeston in 1876. The numbers employed certainly increased dramatically in the decade up to 1881 when it stood at 350, a 143% increase over the 144 femails employed in 1871 and now represented 33.9% of all female employment.
The average age of a female hosiery worker rose to 30.4 years, compared with 25.9 years in 1881. Coupled with stability in the numbers employed, this seems to represent an industry no longer facing the long term decline now that the older frame workers had been largely replaced by a workforce using newer knitting techniques.
The number of females employed at the silk mill was again down dramatically - down to 79, from 112 in 1881 (a reduction of 29.5%) and was now only 7.6% of the total female workforce. However, the average age of female silk workers had stablised, and was now 24.0 years, essentially unchanged from 24.1 years in 1881.
The number of female domestic servants increased to 283, a 29.8% increase over the 218 employed in 1881. Although this clearly continued to be a opportunity open to girls, particularly unmarried school leavers, the proportion of the total female workforce in domestic service did decline slighly, to 27.4% from 29.2% in 1881.

Click to view our analysis of the Male Population by Age and Occupational Groupings
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© David Hallam - 2014