The U.S. Census Bureau is stepping up its recruiting efforts with a goal to hire up to 500,000 part-time census takers nationally. The government agency is aiming to reach two million applicants, according to a press release on Tuesday.
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This patriotic duty comes with paid training, flexible hours and weekly paychecks. Pay is on the competitive side, which can range between $12 and $30 per hour depending on the state and county.
Areas with a higher cost of living such as New York and San Francisco counties will pay upward of $24 per hour while areas cities with a lower cost of living such as Montgomery County, Alabama, and Santa Fe County, New Mexico, will pay upward of $15 per hour.
Additionally, the Census Bureau released an interactive map that shows where hiring is most critical throughout the 50 states. Eighteen states were highlighted by the Census Bureau as areas of focus, according to the release.
“Aside from Puerto Rico, that has already received enough applicants to fill all jobs in the Commonwealth, every other area throughout the nation needs more applicants right now,” said Timothy Olson, an associate director of field operations at the Census Bureau. “With low unemployment, the Census Bureau is taking extraordinary efforts to attract enough applicants to fill nearly 500,000 positions this spring.”
Anyone age 18 and older can apply to be a seasonal census taker. Bilingual individuals are highly encouraged by the Census Bureau so every voice can be counted. Census takers are expected to go door to door to collect responses from households that have not responded online or by phone or mail.
Hiring selection begins this month and paid training will occur in March and April. Most positions will start between May and early July, according to the release.
“Our aim is to reach interested applicants right now, inform them of updated pay rates in their area, and get them into the applicant pool to be considered for these critical jobs,” Olson said.
“The hiring process occurs in stages, and we are encouraging everyone to apply right now before selections begin in January and February. Most census-taker jobs begin training and work this spring.”
The U.S. Constitution orders a census of the population to be taken every 10 years. The statistics created through census responses determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Moreover, it impacts how state, local and federal lawmakers allocate billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities every year for the next decade.