During the 15th and 16th centuries the number of jobs available to people had not kept pace with the growth of the population. Bad weather had led to harvest failures which in turn had led to food shortages and high prices. The growth in sheep farming brought about an increase in unemployment for rural labourers. In the aftermath of droughts, floods or epidemics, it is often the poor that must rebuild their lives without the financial cushion of insurance. Even if a family survives a crisis, whatever money they have managed to save over the years may not be enough to cover their losses.