Research: Abstract of the Napoleonic Era

Commerce: Great Britain. Full-Time Earnings, Adult Males. Index. 1781-1819

 

Note: These are earnings of workers at various levels based, not on dollars, but on an index (like the Consumer Price Index).  This is useful for comparing the rise and fall of wages from one year to another, but does not equal any actual "dollar" amounts.  In other words in 1805 farm laborers earned about 75% of what farm laborers in 1850 earned (1850=100), pointing to rather stable farm labor wages throughout the period.  Only a comparison of change between years or between jobs is significant (Clerks did not earn one-third of what farm laborers earned, rather clerk's wages rose dramatically through the first half of the 19th Century, while farm labor did not.)

Year

Farm Laborers

Skilled Workers

All Manual Laborers

Clerical Workers, etc.

All Workers

1781

61.12

48.30

50.19

22.24

39.24

1797

74.50

46.73

53.61

23.45

42.48

1805

74.51

42.55

51.73

20.82

40.64

1810

67.21

42.73

50.04

19.97

39.41

1815

75.51

52.18

58.15

25.49

46.71

1819

73.52

50.26

55.68

27.76

46.13

Source: Evans, Eric J. Forging of the Modern State: Early Industrial Britain, 1783-1870. 2nd ed. London: Longman, 1996

 

 



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