17.8. Increase of the Services Sector

The percentage of male workers in the services sector increased from 15 % in 1770 to 22 % in 1860; probably the same movement took place as to the female workers.

(The Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, The Occupational Structure of Britain 1379-1911; https://www.campop.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/occupations/overview/)

These people are not included in the calculation in this study, of the average incomes from 1770 to 1860. The calculation (and other parts of the investigation) refers to mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and domestic industry.

According to the 1851 Census there were the following common service occupations (with the number of persons, male plus female):

Domestic servants                  1,030,000
Messengers and porters            100,000
Teachers                                     110,000
Commercial clerks                       43,000
Nurses                                          25,000
Washerwomen                            146,000
Charwomen                                  55,000
Gardeners                                     80,000
Police                                            37,000 

All of these activities came into being after 1770, due to changes in the society; the exception was “domestic servants”, who trebled their number. They were all paid on average 15 shillings a week or more (incl. value of bed and board found, in the case of the domestic servants) in 1860, and thus might well change the average percentage of wage increases. As we have seen in the first section of this chapter, their incomes should not be averaged with existing employments in the family, but added to the individual amount per “mouth”. 

Another important new occupation was that of conductors and drivers of horse-drawn omnibuses. There were 16,000 of these in London in 1860. The drivers earned 34 shillings a week, and the conductors could keep 4 shillings a day out of the fares they collected.

In Sheffield, with a population of 90,000, “the expansion of the retail and service sector is apparent by 1830. In 1833, the life of the community was supported by 326 hotels, inns and taverns, 235 beershops, and 318 flour, grocery, tea and general provision dealers. There were 38 booksellers, binders and printers, 109 milliners and dressmakers, 51 straw hat makers, 39 housepainters, 16 fishmongers, 31 bakers and 13 brewers, providing food, clothing and services for an expanding population. Accountants, collectors and agents constituted a growing white collar sector. Below these, and as yet unnumbered, were the servants, apprentices and clerks who performed the chores of domestic and commercial life.”

(Reid, 1976, p. 14; extracts from William White, History and General Directory of the Borough of Sheffield, 1833)

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