An Introduction to the Manpower Survey Data

Working Paper
Published on 5 December 2016


In this report Andrew Kerr (2015) describes the Manpower Surveys (MS). The MS was a firm survey which provided detailed data on the occupations, gender race and sector of the employed in each establishment during the Apartheid period, stretching back to the 1950s (Crankshaw, 1995; Seekings, 2003; Mariotti, 2009; Department of Manpower/Labour, various years). It was conducted by the Department of Manpower (DoM) (which later changed its name to the Department of Labour) until 1985, and then the Central Statistical Services (CSS- the forerunner of Statistics South Africa) until 1996 (Crankshaw, 1995) when it was renamed the Occupational Survey (Lee, Woolard, & Wilson, 2004). In 1998 it was replaced by the Survey on Occupation by Race and Gender, but this survey was discontinued and never made it beyond a pilot phase (Lee, Woolard, & Wilson, 2004). DataFirst has acquired some data from these surveys and placed them on the DataFirst web portal for public access. The author thus also describes the data that has been made available and provides some basic descriptive analysis of the data, with the aim of giving an introduction to the data and encouraging other researchers to make use of it.