When looking at the Occupation Classification data graphed, two categories make up about 2/3rds of the working population; Transportation and Labor. As can be seen in the previous page, the Labor category not only included male occupations such as ‘Laborer’ but also common female occupations like ‘Domestic’ and ‘House Keeper’. In fact, women make up 52% of the Labor Category from the Prince Street study.
The Prince Street study data challenges many of the preconceived notions of mid-19th century Gender and Labor amongst New York City’s Irish immigrant population. Contrary to the images of legions of male unskilled manual laborers lining the streets, this data suggests that the majority of unskilled labor was done by girls/women and in the context of housekeeping and domestic work. While unskilled labor is indeed common among the male EISB account holders, it represents only about a quarter of the male workforce. It can be said that for Prince Street in the mid 1850s, it was the skilled tradesmen – Plumbers, Blacksmiths, Bakers, Shoemakers, Printers, Tailors, and Hatters – who represented the Irishman’s working majority.