Occupational Diversity on Mott Street

Graph Outlining the Occupation Classification of 157 EISB Account Holders living on Mott Street According to their Test Books. Occupations Listed Under the Title ‘Other’ Worked in Occupations That Composed of Four or Fewer Individuals From the Sample. These Occupations Include but Are Not Limited to Blacksmith, Newspaper Salesman, and Longshoremen.

When comparing this chart to Robert Ernst’s findings in his analysis of occupation in the New York State Census of 1855, one must first remember that the census data, in addition to being broader in a horizontal sense, is most likely broader than this study in a socioeconomic sense due to the fact that this study relies on data from a savings bank. That being said, the EISB does cater to Immigrants of many social classes, and thus this sample is quite useful when studying the economic situation among immigrants on Mott Street. The sample above includes immigrants from eight different countries, but the vast majority, 126, was Irish.  While the high rate of tailors, and others working in related industries such as dressmaking, coincides with Ernst’s findings, the rest of the chart is quite interestingly balanced. No other occupation occupies more than eight percent of the workforce. In Ernst’s findings, more than 61,000 Irish worked as laborers, domestic servants, or tailors while no other single occupation totaled more than 7,000.[1] This stark difference may be due to the skew caused by the bank sample, but it is clear that the EISB members on Mott Street were most likely diversifying economically as a reaction to the economic conditions in the neighborhood.

[1] Robert Ernst, Immigrant life in New York City, 1825-1863 (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1994), 214-17.


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