Census Bureau Short A Half-Million Workers For 2020 Count

The massive effort to hire temporary workers continued during the government shutdown.

While the part of federal government was at a standstill during the 35-day partial shutdown, the Census Bureau was plugging away at hiring the half-million temporary workers it needs for the 2020 count.

The tally of every living person in the country will begin next January, but the Census Bureau has already begun the massive recruiting effort, hiring several hundred workers since late December, NPR reported. The agency has been taking job applications on its website and plans a high-profile hiring push later this year. 

The Census Bureau was able to continue preparing for the count during the government shutdown with $1.1 billion from 2018 that could only be used for the 2020 census, The Washington Post reported.

Pay for the jobs varies by location. In Washington state, for example, hourly pay ranges from $14.50 to $18, according to The Columbian.

The Census Bureau jobs site says applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Have a valid email address.
  • Complete an application and answer assessment questions. (Some assessment questions are available in Spanish. However, an English proficiency test may also be required.)
  • Be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption, if you are a male born after Dec. 31, 1959.
  • Pass a Census-performed criminal background check and a review of criminal records, including fingerprinting.
  • Commit to completing training.
  • Be available to work flexible hours, which can include days, evenings, and/or weekends.

The bureau notes that most of the jobs require access to a computer with internet and email, and a car and valid driver’s license, unless the employee is near public transit.

The majority of the positions are for jobs that will last for a few weeks. Aside from census takers, other roles include supervisors, recruiting assistants and office staffers. 

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