New estimates of British unemployment, 1870-1913

George R. Boyer*, Timothy J. Hatton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


We present new estimates of the British industrial unemployment rate for 1870-1913, which improve on the Board of Trade's prior estimates. We use similar sources, but our series includes additional industrial sectors, allows for short-time working, and aggregates the various sectors using appropriate labor-force weights from the census. The resulting index suggests a rate of industrial unemployment that was generally higher, but less volatile, than the board's index. We then adjust our series to an economywide basis, and construct a consistent time series of overall unemployment for 1870-1999.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-675
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Economic History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002
Externally publishedYes


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