M. Chamberlain Census Charts

The first chart in this series is one that examines the differences in the number of men and women in the clothing industry in 1850. While the men still make up two-thirds of the workforce in this case, women still account for about a third. When this is compared with other types of industry, the numbers are much lower, and for the most part, women aren’t even a part of the workforce. This is why I chose to make this into a chart because the other industries didn’t have many women in the workforce, which makes the clothing industry the exception. However, just because women make up a fair portion of the labor force in the clothing industry doesn’t mean they were paid the same amount. On the contrary, with a few exceptions women make much less than their male counterparts. In the second scatter-plot chart, the wage disparity becomes clear. This is seen in the highest median wage for men and women. In the case of women, the highest median wage was $165, which is dwarfed by the highest men’s median wage of $465. This trend is seen in the rest of the data when applicable, as women are either paid less, or are excluded entirely from certain industries (alcohol, construction, luxury, and transportation are completely male, while food, household, and publishing have a couple of women, but are effectively also entirely male dominated). If I was able, I’d like to see data from 1860, just to see whether or not women gained more of a foothold in other industries beyond clothing.

The second set of charts relates to the makeup of industry in Albany in 1850. At this point in time, Albany was dominated by two industries (according to the data): clothing and manufacturing, which accounted for 28% and 27% respectively. In contrast, the weakest industry in Albany was publishing, which made up less than one percent of the labor force. This may show that during the mid-19th century, there was more of a need for clothing and manufactured goods than paper. This could be explained with the fact that at this point in time, the Erie Canal was still a major economic powerhouse in New York. The canal would have impacted trade, and made the products of some industries more desirable than others. When the median number of workers is examined, there isn’t a great difference between most of the industries. When the median number of workers was taken from the median number from each industry, the number was about six, so there isn’t a large amount of deviation in this case. This shows that in most cases, Albany was dominated by smaller shops operating with a handful of employees. While there were some larger businesses, small shops seemed to have been more prevalent.

Most of the charts the data produced were easy to understand, the only one that may produce some confusion was the scatter-plot of men’s vs women’s wages. This was probably my fault because I did run into some technical difficulties when doing the functions for the wages. However, in most cases, the information is clearly shown, and it is easy to draw conclusions from the charts.