Most common jobs 150 years ago in Louisiana

Written by:
August 5, 2022
Historical Picture Archive/Corbis via Getty Images

Most common jobs 150 years ago in Louisiana

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the global economy, the current job market is a hot topic in the news cycle. But while the pandemic itself is, historically, something of an economic aberration, the U.S. economy that we know today has a long and storied history of expansions, recessions, and evolution.

At the time of the American Revolution, most of the job market in the U.S. revolved around agriculture or food acquisition in some way. Many individuals and communities farmed for subsistence, not even growing enough to have an excess to sell for profits. As the fledgling country grew, so did its economy, springing forth during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s and early 1800s, and inexorably shifting the nation’s economic focus from agrarian efforts to those of manufacturing, trade, and other forms of business. Inventions like the steam engine and cotton gin accelerated production, feeding a booming job market that was met with immigrants eager to find work.

By the mid- to late-1800s, the U.S. economy and job market was characterized by successive periods of rapid growth followed by panics or depressions. This economic disquiet was caused by stock speculation and oscillating levels of trust in the federal government’s ability to regulate cash flow and support banks. In turn, the uncertain economy produced a volatile job market.

In an effort to capture a snapshot of the U.S. job market’s history, Stacker compiled a list of the most common jobs in Louisiana from 150 years ago using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. By transcribing the previously untranscribed Table XXVII from the 1870 decennial census, a state-level glimpse into the historic job market can be seen. Nationally, farmers and planters were the most common occupation 150 years ago, just one of the many agricultural jobs that made up more than 47% of all employed persons over ten years old.

Continue reading to find out more about the historical job market in your home state or explore the data on your own on our site, GitHub, or data.world.

You may also like: Parishes with highest COVID-19 infection rates in Louisiana

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Bettmann // Getty Images

#1. Agricultural laborers

- Louisiana employment: 97,783
- National employment: 2,885,996
--- #2 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#2. Farmers and planters

- Louisiana employment: 41,672
- National employment: 2,977,711
--- #1 most common job in the U.S.
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English Heritage/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#3. Domestic servants

- Louisiana employment: 26,833
- National employment: 975,734
--- #4 most common job in the U.S.
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Alexander Alland, Sr./CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#4. Laborers (not specified)

- Louisiana employment: 25,525
- National employment: 1,031,666
--- #3 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#5. Clerks in stores

- Louisiana employment: 6,656
- National employment: 222,504
--- #6 most common job in the U.S.
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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

#6. Carpenters and joiners

- Louisiana employment: 4,578
- National employment: 344,596
--- #5 most common job in the U.S.
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Bettmann // Getty Images

#7. Launderers and laundresses

- Louisiana employment: 3,265
- National employment: 60,906
--- #21 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine // Library of Congress

#8. Tailors, tailoresses, and seamstresses

- Louisiana employment: 2,559
- National employment: 161,820
--- #8 most common job in the U.S.
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Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock // Getty Images

#9. Traders and dealers (not specified)

- Louisiana employment: 2,517
- National employment: 100,406
--- #15 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#10. Traders and dealers in groceries

- Louisiana employment: 2,111
- National employment: 74,410
--- #19 most common job in the U.S.
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Bain News Service // Library of Congress

#11. Draymen, hackmen, teamsters, &c

- Louisiana employment: 2,021
- National employment: 120,756
--- #13 most common job in the U.S.
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John C.H. Grabill // Library of Congress

#12. Officials of Government

- Louisiana employment: 1,655
- National employment: 44,743
--- #26 most common job in the U.S.
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Frances Benjamin Johnston // Library of Congress

#13. Boot and shoe makers

- Louisiana employment: 1,594
- National employment: 171,127
--- #7 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#14. Blacksmiths

- Louisiana employment: 1,483
- National employment: 141,774
--- #11 most common job in the U.S.
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Everett Collection // Shutterstock

#15. Teachers (not specified)

- Louisiana employment: 1,470
- National employment: 126,822
--- #12 most common job in the U.S.
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Maurice Ambler // Getty Images

#16. Coopers

- Louisiana employment: 1,141
- National employment: 41,789
--- #32 most common job in the U.S.
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Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#17. Butchers

- Louisiana employment: 1,110
- National employment: 44,354
--- #27 most common job in the U.S.
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Carl Mydans // Library of Congress

#18. Masons, brick and stone

- Louisiana employment: 1,045
- National employment: 89,710
--- #17 most common job in the U.S.
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Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Painters and varnishers

- Louisiana employment: 1,020
- National employment: 85,123
--- #18 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#20. Physicians and surgeons

- Louisiana employment: 939
- National employment: 62,383
--- #20 most common job in the U.S.
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Bettmann // Getty Images

#21. Hucksters

- Louisiana employment: 891
- National employment: 17,362
--- #64 most common job in the U.S.
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Everett Collection // Shutterstock

#22. Gardeners and nurserymen

- Louisiana employment: 861
- National employment: 31,435
--- #42 most common job in the U.S.
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Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#23. Bakers

- Louisiana employment: 846
- National employment: 27,680
--- #47 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#24. Farm and plantation overseers

- Louisiana employment: 844
- National employment: 3,609
--- #155 most common job in the U.S.
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Detroit Publishing Company // Library of Congress

#25. Steamboat men and women

- Louisiana employment: 833
- National employment: 7,975
--- #104 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#26. Traders and dealers in dry-goods

- Louisiana employment: 802
- National employment: 39,790
--- #37 most common job in the U.S.
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Bain News Service // Library of Congress

#27. Cigar-makers

- Louisiana employment: 703
- National employment: 28,286
--- #46 most common job in the U.S.
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Bettmann // Getty Images

#28. Barkeepers

- Louisiana employment: 697
- National employment: 14,362
--- #74 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#29. Sailors

- Louisiana employment: 683
- National employment: 56,663
--- #23 most common job in the U.S.
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Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#30. Milliners, dress and mantua makers

- Louisiana employment: 680
- National employment: 92,084
--- #16 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine/Buyenlarge // Getty Images

#31. Fishermen and oystermen

- Louisiana employment: 678
- National employment: 27,106
--- #48 most common job in the U.S.
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Corbis via Getty Images

#32. Lawyers

- Louisiana employment: 663
- National employment: 40,736
--- #35 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#33. Engineers and firemen

- Louisiana employment: 602
- National employment: 34,233
--- #40 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#34. Porters in stores and warehouses

- Louisiana employment: 581
- National employment: 16,631
--- #67 most common job in the U.S.
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SSPL // Getty Images

#35. Employees of railroad companies (not clerks)

- Louisiana employment: 559
- National employment: 154,027
--- #9 most common job in the U.S.
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Minnesota Historical Society/Corbis via Getty Images

#36. Barbers and hairdressers

- Louisiana employment: 550
- National employment: 23,935
--- #52 most common job in the U.S.
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Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images

#37. Powder-makers

- Louisiana employment: 505
- National employment: 575
--- #267 most common job in the U.S.
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Buyenlarge // Getty Images

#38. Woodchoppers

- Louisiana employment: 457
- National employment: 8,338
--- #99 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#39. Book-keepers and accountants in stores

- Louisiana employment: 457
- National employment: 31,177
--- #43 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Cotton-mill operatives

- Louisiana employment: 419
- National employment: 111,606
--- #14 most common job in the U.S.
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#41. Soldiers (United States Army)

- Louisiana employment: 411
- National employment: 22,081
--- #56 most common job in the U.S.
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Gari Melchers // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Clergymen

- Louisiana employment: 404
- National employment: 43,874
--- #28 most common job in the U.S.
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London Metropolitan Archives/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#43. Machinists

- Louisiana employment: 375
- National employment: 54,755
--- #24 most common job in the U.S.
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Seneca Ray Stoddard/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

#44. Restaurant-keepers

- Louisiana employment: 372
- National employment: 35,185
--- #38 most common job in the U.S.
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Museum of the City of New York/Byron Co. Collection // Getty Images

#45. Employees of hotels and restaurants (not clerks)

- Louisiana employment: 344
- National employment: 23,438
--- #54 most common job in the U.S.
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John C.H. Grabill // Library of Congress

#46. Saw-mill operatives

- Louisiana employment: 339
- National employment: 47,298
--- #25 most common job in the U.S.
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Bettmann // Getty Images

#47. Tinners

- Louisiana employment: 333
- National employment: 30,524
--- #44 most common job in the U.S.
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Turrill & Miller of San Francisco/Buyenlarge // Getty Images

#48. Hostlers

- Louisiana employment: 328
- National employment: 17,586
--- #62 most common job in the U.S.
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Lass // Getty Images

#49. Traders and dealers in cotton

- Louisiana employment: 313
- National employment: 1,701
--- #207 most common job in the U.S.
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Historical Picture Archive/Corbis via Getty Images

#50. Cabinetmakers

- Louisiana employment: 298
- National employment: 42,835
--- #30 most common job in the U.S.

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