24 Pages

The Labour Force

N. Senior, Grounds and Objects of the Budget, p 506 Quoted in Coats, ''The Classical Economists and the Labourer in 'Land, Labour and Population in the Industrial Revolution,' ed Jones & Mingay, P H9

A girl of 18 can attend to a power-loom as well as a full-grown man; a child of 13 is more valuable as a piecer than an adult-its touch is more sensitive, and its sight is more acute. A factory lad of 18 who marries a factory girl of the same age, finds himself immediately richer; and although he may be pinched during some of the following years, yet as each child attains the age of 9 years it can earn more than its support; and the earnings of 3 children between the ages of 9 and 16 can, in prosperous times, support the whole family. It was under the influence of this enormous stimulus, with some assistance from immigration, that the population of our manufacturing districts increased during the thirty years that elapsed between 1801 and 1831 . . . at a rate equalled only in some portions of America.