(STACKER) – 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 Connecticut 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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#1. Farmers and planters

– Connecticut employment: 23,704
– National employment: 2,977,711
— #1 most common job in the U.S.

#2. Agricultural laborers

– Connecticut employment: 18,934
– National employment: 2,885,996
— #2 most common job in the U.S.

#3. Domestic servants

– Connecticut employment: 15,104
– National employment: 975,734
— #4 most common job in the U.S.

#4. Laborers (not specified)

– Connecticut employment: 13,017
– National employment: 1,031,666
— #3 most common job in the U.S.

#5. Cotton-mill operatives

– Connecticut employment: 9,057
– National employment: 111,606
— #14 most common job in the U.S.

#6. Carpenters and joiners

– Connecticut employment: 7,130
– National employment: 344,596
— #5 most common job in the U.S.

#7. Employees of railroad companies (not clerks)

– Connecticut employment: 5,020
– National employment: 154,027
— #9 most common job in the U.S.

#8. Mill and factory operatives (not specified)

– Connecticut employment: 4,515
– National employment: 41,619
— #33 most common job in the U.S.

#9. Woolen-mill operatives

– Connecticut employment: 4,499
– National employment: 58,836
— #22 most common job in the U.S.

#10. Clerks in stores

– Connecticut employment: 3,641
– National employment: 222,504
— #6 most common job in the U.S.

#11. Machinists

– Connecticut employment: 3,148
– National employment: 54,755
— #24 most common job in the U.S.

#12. Teachers (not specified)

– Connecticut employment: 2,711
– National employment: 126,822
— #12 most common job in the U.S.

#13. Blacksmiths

– Connecticut employment: 2,698
– National employment: 141,774
— #11 most common job in the U.S.

#14. Masons, brick and stone

– Connecticut employment: 2,603
– National employment: 89,710
— #17 most common job in the U.S.

#15. Boot and shoe makers

– Connecticut employment: 2,540
– National employment: 171,127
— #7 most common job in the U.S.

#16. Hat and cap makers

– Connecticut employment: 2,481
– National employment: 12,625
— #78 most common job in the U.S.

#17. Iron & steel works & shops operatives (not specified)

– Connecticut employment: 2,478
– National employment: 22,141
— #55 most common job in the U.S.

#18. Sailors

– Connecticut employment: 2,402
– National employment: 56,663
— #23 most common job in the U.S.

#19. Tailors, tailoresses, and seamstresses

– Connecticut employment: 2,363
– National employment: 161,820
— #8 most common job in the U.S.

#20. Painters and varnishers

– Connecticut employment: 2,317
– National employment: 85,123
— #18 most common job in the U.S.

#21. Milliners, dress and mantua makers

– Connecticut employment: 2,270
– National employment: 92,084
— #16 most common job in the U.S.

#22. Manufacturers

– Connecticut employment: 2,171
– National employment: 42,877
— #29 most common job in the U.S.

#23. Draymen, hackmen, teamsters, &c

– Connecticut employment: 2,003
– National employment: 120,756
— #13 most common job in the U.S.

#24. Iron-foundry operatives

– Connecticut employment: 1,928
– National employment: 34,245
— #39 most common job in the U.S.

#25. Carriage and wagon makers

– Connecticut employment: 1,640
– National employment: 42,464
— #31 most common job in the U.S.

#26. Traders and dealers (not specified)

– Connecticut employment: 1,623
– National employment: 100,406
— #15 most common job in the U.S.

#27. Carpet-makers

– Connecticut employment: 1,486
– National employment: 15,669
— #70 most common job in the U.S.

#28. Mechanics (not specified)

– Connecticut employment: 1,482
– National employment: 16,514
— #68 most common job in the U.S.

#29. Quarrymen

– Connecticut employment: 1,438
– National employment: 13,580
— #76 most common job in the U.S.

#30. Traders and dealers in groceries

– Connecticut employment: 1,341
– National employment: 74,410
— #19 most common job in the U.S.

#31. Sewing-machine factory operatives

– Connecticut employment: 1,279
– National employment: 3,881
— #146 most common job in the U.S.

#32. Brass founders and workers

– Connecticut employment: 1,278
– National employment: 4,694
— #137 most common job in the U.S.

#33. Book-keepers and accountants in stores

– Connecticut employment: 1,228
– National employment: 31,177
— #43 most common job in the U.S.

#34. Clock-makers

– Connecticut employment: 1,153
– National employment: 1,779
— #201 most common job in the U.S.

#35. Knitting and hosiery mill operatives

– Connecticut employment: 1,021
– National employment: 3,653
— #153 most common job in the U.S.

#36. Paper-mill operatives

– Connecticut employment: 984
– National employment: 12,469
— #79 most common job in the U.S.

#37. Rubber-factory operatives

– Connecticut employment: 981
– National employment: 3,886
— #145 most common job in the U.S.

#38. Fishermen and oystermen

– Connecticut employment: 920
– National employment: 27,106
— #48 most common job in the U.S.

#39. Tool and cutlery makers

– Connecticut employment: 910
– National employment: 5,351
— #129 most common job in the U.S.

#40. Clergymen

– Connecticut employment: 908
– National employment: 43,874
— #28 most common job in the U.S.

#41. Butchers

– Connecticut employment: 820
– National employment: 44,354
— #27 most common job in the U.S.

#42. Gardeners and nurserymen

– Connecticut employment: 805
– National employment: 31,435
— #42 most common job in the U.S.

#43. Gun and lock smiths

– Connecticut employment: 791
– National employment: 8,184
— #103 most common job in the U.S.

#44. Marble and stone cutters

– Connecticut employment: 788
– National employment: 25,831
— #51 most common job in the U.S.

#45. Restaurant-keepers

– Connecticut employment: 735
– National employment: 35,185
— #38 most common job in the U.S.

#46. Employees of manufacturing establishments

– Connecticut employment: 713
– National employment: 20,242
— #59 most common job in the U.S.

#47. Shirt, cuff, and collar makers

– Connecticut employment: 695
– National employment: 4,080
— #143 most common job in the U.S.

#48. Tinners

– Connecticut employment: 684
– National employment: 30,524
— #44 most common job in the U.S.

#49. Physicians and surgeons

– Connecticut employment: 680
– National employment: 62,383
— #20 most common job in the U.S.

#50. Printers

– Connecticut employment: 631
– National employment: 39,860
— #36 most common job in the U.S.