London AdmC — Current theme: Work & Poverty

Work & Poverty

This theme is concerned with who was able to find work, and the consequences for those who could not. The census is not the ideal source to study these questions, because it is taken only every ten years, and we plan to add additional information from other sources such as the records of National Insurance and the Poor Law system, and their modern equivalents, Job Seekers Allowance and Income Support.

For now, our only non-census data here comes from the trade union-run welfare system that laid the foundations for the National Insurance system before the 1914-18 war. One strength of census data on unemployment is that it is relatively little affected by the changing rules of benefit systems, although we do add numbers on government training schemes to our figures for 1991.

For most of the twentieth century, the unemployment rate among women was of limited value. Many women were not involved in paid work, and even those with jobs had problems claiming benefits when they lost them. We therefore concentrate instead on the "activity rate", which measures what proportion of women were economically active, either in work or looking for it.

Our detailed statistics are held in structures called nCubes, which you can think of as tables with one dimension, or with two ... or with twenty. Their dimensions are defined by the variables each nCube combines, and each variable is made up of categories. These nCubes are available at national level for this theme:

Available nCubes Period covered Variables
(number of categories)
Census Unemployment by Sex 1931 Sex (2)
Census Unemployment (2)
Economically Active by Sex 1921 to 1931 Sex (2)
Economically Active (2)
All of Working Age, by Sex 1921 to 1931 Sex (2)
All of Working Age (1)
Claimant Count Unemployment 1927 to 1939 Insured Unemployment (2)
All persons insured against unemployment 1927 to 1939 All persons covered by unemployment insurance (1)
Percentage Unemployed by Category of the Insured 1927 to 1939 Categories of Persons within National Insurance (4)