Most common jobs 150 years ago in New Hampshire

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August 5, 2022
Maurice Ambler // Getty Images

Most common jobs 150 years ago in New Hampshire

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 New Hampshire 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.

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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#1. Farmers and planters

- New Hampshire employment: 30,749
- National employment: 2,977,711
--- #1 most common job in the U.S.
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Bettmann // Getty Images

#2. Agricultural laborers

- New Hampshire employment: 15,666
- National employment: 2,885,996
--- #2 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Cotton-mill operatives

- New Hampshire employment: 12,759
- National employment: 111,606
--- #14 most common job in the U.S.
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English Heritage/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#4. Domestic servants

- New Hampshire employment: 7,481
- National employment: 975,734
--- #4 most common job in the U.S.
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Frances Benjamin Johnston // Library of Congress

#5. Boot and shoe makers

- New Hampshire employment: 5,412
- National employment: 171,127
--- #7 most common job in the U.S.
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Alexander Alland, Sr./CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#6. Laborers (not specified)

- New Hampshire employment: 4,680
- National employment: 1,031,666
--- #3 most common job in the U.S.
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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

#7. Carpenters and joiners

- New Hampshire employment: 4,406
- National employment: 344,596
--- #5 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine // Library of Congress

#8. Woolen-mill operatives

- New Hampshire employment: 3,824
- National employment: 58,836
--- #22 most common job in the U.S.
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Everett Collection // Shutterstock

#9. Teachers (not specified)

- New Hampshire employment: 1,987
- National employment: 126,822
--- #12 most common job in the U.S.
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SSPL // Getty Images

#10. Employees of railroad companies (not clerks)

- New Hampshire employment: 1,819
- National employment: 154,027
--- #9 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#11. Clerks in stores

- New Hampshire employment: 1,745
- National employment: 222,504
--- #6 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#12. Blacksmiths

- New Hampshire employment: 1,665
- National employment: 141,774
--- #11 most common job in the U.S.
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Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#13. Milliners, dress and mantua makers

- New Hampshire employment: 1,570
- National employment: 92,084
--- #16 most common job in the U.S.
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John C.H. Grabill // Library of Congress

#14. Saw-mill operatives

- New Hampshire employment: 1,291
- National employment: 47,298
--- #25 most common job in the U.S.
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Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Painters and varnishers

- New Hampshire employment: 1,170
- National employment: 85,123
--- #18 most common job in the U.S.
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London Metropolitan Archives/Heritage Images // Getty Images

#16. Machinists

- New Hampshire employment: 1,090
- National employment: 54,755
--- #24 most common job in the U.S.
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Smith Collection/Gado // Getty Images

#17. Manufacturers

- New Hampshire employment: 1,045
- National employment: 42,877
--- #29 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine // Library of Congress

#18. Tailors, tailoresses, and seamstresses

- New Hampshire employment: 888
- National employment: 161,820
--- #8 most common job in the U.S.
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Carl Mydans // Library of Congress

#19. Masons, brick and stone

- New Hampshire employment: 841
- National employment: 89,710
--- #17 most common job in the U.S.
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Historical Picture Archive/Corbis via Getty Images

#20. Cabinetmakers

- New Hampshire employment: 804
- National employment: 42,835
--- #30 most common job in the U.S.
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Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock // Getty Images

#21. Traders and dealers (not specified)

- New Hampshire employment: 784
- National employment: 100,406
--- #15 most common job in the U.S.
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Bain News Service // Library of Congress

#22. Draymen, hackmen, teamsters, &c

- New Hampshire employment: 742
- National employment: 120,756
--- #13 most common job in the U.S.
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Gari Melchers // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Clergymen

- New Hampshire employment: 664
- National employment: 43,874
--- #28 most common job in the U.S.
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Lewis W. Hine // Library of Congress

#24. Knitting and hosiery mill operatives

- New Hampshire employment: 654
- National employment: 3,653
--- #153 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#25. Physicians and surgeons

- New Hampshire employment: 565
- National employment: 62,383
--- #20 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#26. Traders and dealers in groceries

- New Hampshire employment: 541
- National employment: 74,410
--- #19 most common job in the U.S.
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GHI/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#27. Iron-foundry operatives

- New Hampshire employment: 515
- National employment: 34,245
--- #39 most common job in the U.S.
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Levin C. Handy // Library of Congerss

#28. Marble and stone cutters

- New Hampshire employment: 454
- National employment: 25,831
--- #51 most common job in the U.S.
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Everett Collection // Shutterstock

#29. Print-works operatives

- New Hampshire employment: 420
- National employment: 3,738
--- #151 most common job in the U.S.
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John C.H. Grabill // Library of Congress

#30. Hotel-keepers

- New Hampshire employment: 368
- National employment: 26,394
--- #49 most common job in the U.S.
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Kirn Vintage Stock//Corbis via Getty Images

#31. Brick and tile makers

- New Hampshire employment: 364
- National employment: 26,070
--- #50 most common job in the U.S.
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Boyer/Roger Viollet via Getty Images

#32. Curriers, tanners, and finishers of leather

- New Hampshire employment: 357
- National employment: 28,702
--- #45 most common job in the U.S.
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Corbis via Getty Images

#33. Lawyers

- New Hampshire employment: 349
- National employment: 40,736
--- #35 most common job in the U.S.
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John C.H. Grabill // Library of Congress

#34. Officials of Government

- New Hampshire employment: 337
- National employment: 44,743
--- #26 most common job in the U.S.
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Minnesota Historical Society/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

#35. Butchers

- New Hampshire employment: 335
- National employment: 44,354
--- #27 most common job in the U.S.
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Daily Herald Archive/National Science & Media Museum/SSPL via Getty Images

#36. Harness and saddle makers

- New Hampshire employment: 324
- National employment: 32,817
--- #41 most common job in the U.S.
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Matthias Weaver // Library of Congress

#37. Carriage and wagon makers

- New Hampshire employment: 321
- National employment: 42,464
--- #31 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#38. Traders and dealers in dry-goods

- New Hampshire employment: 318
- National employment: 39,790
--- #37 most common job in the U.S.
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Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

#39. Mechanics (not specified)

- New Hampshire employment: 285
- National employment: 16,514
--- #68 most common job in the U.S.
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Andreas Larsen Dahl/Wisconsin Historical Society // Getty Images

#40. Wheelwrights

- New Hampshire employment: 284
- National employment: 20,942
--- #58 most common job in the U.S.
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Wisconsin Historical Society // Getty Images

#41. Millers

- New Hampshire employment: 279
- National employment: 41,582
--- #34 most common job in the U.S.
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Turrill & Miller of San Francisco/Buyenlarge // Getty Images

#42. Hostlers

- New Hampshire employment: 263
- National employment: 17,586
--- #62 most common job in the U.S.
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Detroit Publishing Company // Library of Congress

#43. Clerks in hotels and restaurants

- New Hampshire employment: 249
- National employment: 5,243
--- #131 most common job in the U.S.
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Buyenlarge // Getty Images

#44. Woodchoppers

- New Hampshire employment: 240
- National employment: 8,338
--- #99 most common job in the U.S.
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Schenectady Museum/Hall of Electrical History Foundation/Corbis via Getty Images

#45. Employees of manufacturing establishments

- New Hampshire employment: 235
- National employment: 20,242
--- #59 most common job in the U.S.
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Chicago History Museum // Getty Images

#46. Boarding and lodging house keepers

- New Hampshire employment: 232
- National employment: 12,785
--- #77 most common job in the U.S.
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Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images

#47. Printers

- New Hampshire employment: 223
- National employment: 39,860
--- #36 most common job in the U.S.
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Everett Collection // Shutterstock

#48. Quarrymen

- New Hampshire employment: 212
- National employment: 13,580
--- #76 most common job in the U.S.
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Underwood Archives // Getty Images

#49. Steam-engine makers

- New Hampshire employment: 209
- National employment: 4,172
--- #139 most common job in the U.S.
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Maurice Ambler // Getty Images

#50. Coopers

- New Hampshire employment: 208
- National employment: 41,789
--- #32 most common job in the U.S.

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