Census Bureau details efforts to hire 500,000 temps across U.S. for 2020 survey

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 526 views 

The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a national recruitment effort to hire approximately 500,000 temporary workers to help conduct the 2020 Census. Nearly 4,000 local recruiting events are scheduled to take place this week in communities across the nation.

“We need people to apply now so they can be considered for part-time census taker positions next spring,” said Timothy Olson, Census Bureau associate director for Field Operations. “Recent high school graduates, veterans, retirees, military spouses, seasonal workers and applicants who are bilingual are highly encouraged to apply. It’s important we hire people in every community in order to have a complete and accurate census.”

Census takers will be hired to work in their communities and go door-to-door to collect responses from those who do not respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail. In certain remote areas like northern Maine and Alaska, census takers are the only way people can respond to the 2020 Census.

These positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training and weekly paychecks.

According to the bureau, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, pay rates for the part-time positions will vary depending on where the job is located, from $13.50 to $30.00 per hour. The selection process for census taker positions begins in January 2020, with paid training occurring in March and April.

Actual enumeration of non-responding households throughout the nation begins in May through early July. Check out the 2020 Census website for listings of available census taker and other jobs. Persons interested in determining the estimated pay rate in an individual area, visit here.


The 2020 Census officially starts counting people in January 2020 in Toksook Bay, Alaska, one of the nation’s remotest communities. Most households in the nation will receive invitations in the mail to respond online, by phone or by mail in March 2020. The Census Bureau will begin advertising nationwide in January 2020 to increase awareness about the importance and benefits of participating in the decennial population count.

In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Arkansas Census 2020 Complete-Count Committee held its first meeting at the State Capitol to make sure Arkansas is accurately counted during the upcoming survey, especially in areas of the state that U.S. Commerce Department officials have determined as “hard-to-count” census tracts. That 20-person panel, chaired by Fort Smith Mayor Fort Smith George McGill, will meet monthly and submit the first progress report to Hutchinson by Nov. 1. A more complete “Census Day” report will be submitted by the panel to the governor by April 1, 2020; and a final narrative no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

Besides the governor’s panel, the Arkansas Counts coalition is also ramping up efforts to provide critical resources across the state to educate citizens and other U.S. residents about the 2020 census. The group’s Arkansas Counts Committee has stressed that census data is critical because it will be used to determine everything from congressional representation in the states to how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed to states and local communities every year for critical public services and infrastructure, including health clinics, schools, roads and emergency services.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years. According to Census Bureau data, Arkansas received more than $9 billion from federal spending programs that was culled from information from the 2010 census. A one percent undercount of Arkansas in 2020 may result in up to nearly $1 billion in lost funds over a 10-year period, note Arkansas Count officials.

Heading into the 2020 population survey, some states are also still dealing with how to reach and count hard-to-reach residents. In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 population count violated federal law. Critics of the Department of Commence survey successfully argued before the high court that such a citizenship test would lead to an undercount of Latinos, children under 18 and noncitizen immigrants.