2020 Census still needs 'boots on the ground'
The 2020 U.S. Census is underway in Alaska and will get rolling soon everywhere else. But, in order to get everyone counted, the bureau needs more workers.
"In the bigger picture, in order to get a complete count, we have to have enough boots on the ground," said Beth Federici, a recruiting assistant for the 2020 Census.
According to Federici, the U.S. Census Bureau has had difficulty getting enough workers on board due to the low unemployment rate.
For those interested, a nationwide census recruiting event called "Gig of the Decade" is taking place at Oregon City Library on Jan. 31 from 1-5 p.m. and at all Multnomah County libraries on Feb. 1 from 1-5 p.m.
The application is also available online at 2020census.gov/en/jobs. Applicants need not submit a resume or cover letter; instead, everyone answers the same basic application questions.
Enumerators earn $18 per hour with paid training at $16 per hour. And according to Federici, the hours and coverage area are flexible. Employees will also be reimbursed for mileage at 58 cents per mile.
The work is temporary, and the income does not affect government benefits such as SNAP, TANF, and WIC, per Jon Coney, partnership specialist for the bureau.
"There's no downside to applying," Federici said.
Applicants should be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver's license and be a U.S. citizen. Bilingual and trilingual applicants are in especially high demand.
"When in doubt, apply," Coney said.
Both Federici and Coney emphasized how important census work is.
The data from the census is used in a variety of ways, including to determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress, to determine how federal funding is distributed to states, to help communities plan for residents' needs and more.
In other words, failure to count every person can lead to tainted numbers and therefore less representation and less federal funding.
To learn more, visit census.gov.
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