En español | If you're looking for a part-time job with flexible hours and good pay, the Census Bureau wants to hear from you. The agency is seeking to hire more than 500,000 people now to help with the 2020 census, and it has added a new tool to its website to show you exactly where workers are needed the most.
This month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report showing that of the 248 offices the bureau opened nationwide to help with the count, 202 still have not met their recruiting targets even though the main count is set to begin in just a few weeks. In December, the bureau decided that it would increase pay rates for many of the positions, the report says.
In January, the Census Bureau launched an interactive map of the nation that lets you see which counties still have many jobs available. The map also shows what the current hourly wage is for an “enumerator,” the job of going door-to-door this spring to help Americans who have not already completed their 2020 census questionnaire fill out the form.
The agency still has positions available nationwide, but there's a particularly high need for more workers in 18 states: Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The pay ranges from $13.50 to $30 per hour, based on position and location, and those hired should expect their job to last six to eight weeks. To apply, go to 2020census.gov/jobs. AARP is hosting a part-time-jobs online expo on Jan. 23, during which you'll be able to ask a Census Bureau representative any questions you have about these positions.
"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,” says Timothy Olson, Census Bureau associate director for field operations. “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."
Every 10 years the bureau has to conduct a full count of the nation's population, as required by the U.S. Constitution. The government then uses those numbers to determine how many legislators each state gets in the House of Representatives and where billions of dollars in federal funding gets spent each year.
To ensure that it makes that tally as accurate as possible, the agency temporarily hires the folks who understand the communities the best: the people who live there. While many of the positions will be for enumerators, there is a wide range of other opportunities available, including work at many of the offices the bureau has opened nationwide.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 8, 2020. It has been updated with information from the Government Accountability Office report.