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Unemployment and Poor Law Relief in Manchester, 1845-50

H. M. Boot
Social History
Vol. 15, No. 2 (May, 1990), pp. 217-228
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4285843
Page Count: 12
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Unemployment and Poor Law Relief in Manchester, 1845-50
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to trace the effect of a series of depressive influences operating in the Manchester textile industries in 1847 and 1848 on short-time work, unemployment and on the demand for poor relief. The paper demonstrates how movements in poor relief were highly correlated with movements in unemployment and short-time working. It also analyses the relationship between unemployment among, and poor relief paid to, various sub-groups of the Manchester factory workforce. An important aspect of the paper is that it provides weekly data on unemployment and short-time work among Manchester factory workers between January 1847 and October 1848, and on the number of paupers receiving out-door relief between August 1845 and March 1850. The paper concludes that, at the local level, out-door relief payments may be a more useful surrogate for unemployment data than historians have recognised.

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