Let the Testing and Hiring Begin!

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Written by: Director Robert Groves

“Testing This Week Could Lead To One Of Hundreds Of Open Census Jobs”

“Census Bureau To Hire 23,000 In Wisconsin”

“Bilingual Applicants Needed For Census Jobs”

“Census To Hire Workers”

“US Census Bureau Looking For Recruits”

News articles with these kinds of headlines are coming out at a rapid rate these days, as we prepare for the mass hiring that the decennial census will require next year. It’s all because the Census Bureau follows up with households that don’t mail back a completed paper questionnaire. For each one not mailed back by May 1, we’ll send a trained census taker out to that address to ask for the information in person.

To get ready for non-response follow up, we expect to test about 3 million applicants for skills in map reading, arithmetic, and reasoning skills. We’ll have them go through an FBI criminal background check. Those we hire will be fingerprinted for another check. At the end of this process we will hire a little over 1 million people. There is no other activity of this scale ever mounted in the country.

This decade we will continue our focus on hiring locally. We want to ensure that the census taker and local resident relate to each other with a high degree of comfort, culturally and linguistically.

The competition for the jobs is fierce this year because of the high unemployment rate. We want all applicants to know we appreciate their interest in working on this great national effort and serving the American public in this way. Given the massive scale of this effort, we’ll not be reaching out to candidates until the spring of 2010.

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12 Responses to Let the Testing and Hiring Begin!

  1. Nick M says:

    How much money does it cost for a census? Being that it’s such a large scale operation, maybe it would be cheaper and more efficient to incorporate some type of internet poll. I know some people do not have internet access, but maybe the government could have an internet option. This would allow the government to complete the job quicker.

  2. kev@censusstaff says:

    Nick,
    The Census Bureau is committed to getting an accurate count of the population and doing so in a way that protects the confidentiality of respondents. Based on our research, we have decided not to offer the option of completing the 2010 Census online. However, we recognize the value of the Internet as a convenient option for completing the census and expect to use it for the 2020 census.

  3. Danny M says:

    How much do the people hired for the census get paid? What qualifies someone for a position like this?

  4. kev@censusstaff says:

    Danny,
    In 2010, 1.2 million temporary workers are needed to fill a variety of census positions across the country. Area residents can apply (applications will be accepted starting fall 2009) to earn competitive weekly pay, enjoy flexible hours, and be part of a historic opportunity to serve their communities.
    In order to accomplish this enormous task, the Census Bureau will make every effort to hire within communities and select candidates at the neighborhood level. Local individuals have knowledge of their community and can engage fellow neighbors who may not be aware of the importance of being counted in the census. In many areas of the country, bilingual language ability is a criterion to ensure that we hire individuals who have language proficiencies to interact with local respondents.

  5. Evan R says:

    I’m glad to see this happening. It is good that a large number of jobs will be available in these hard times. However, I was curious as to what is the length of the job? Since the census occurs only every 10 years, how long would someone hold this position and what do you do between censuses? I am also glad to see that internet poll option will be available for the 2020 census.

  6. Stephanie M says:

    Trying to complete the cinus will require a large taskforce thats for sure. Many people curently residing in the US are immigrants and may not understand the english language this often causes a lack of participation. Also most of the time many people dont want to take the time to fill something out especially if they have to write it so having an internet option i feel is a very good idea that may recieve much more involvement. While not everyone has access to a computer, those who deal with computers everyday, this might be a more accesable option for them. Also by creating these jobs for people its a huge step forward but the cost of this project is definately a possible cause for concern because if it costs more than what we get in return from it , it will merely be a step backwards. Getting the appropriate cenus in is very important and gettin gas close to the actual number is an acomplishment in itself that the communities should strive for.

  7. Tom says:

    Is there a gap between training and field work? I was under the impression that once you completed training, you would be going out into the field immediately. My test administrator told me I will be getting a call on or about March 1, 2010 – I hope he’s correct!!

  8. Tom says:

    I’m not sure about what other test administrators are telling test takers, but mine seems to have missed the mark. My test administrator told me I would be contacted on March 1, 2010, but now the earliest I’ll be contacted is March 8, 2010. I guess I’ll be able to hand my results in a week or more later than the due date. I guess I’ll be able to work “at the speed of government.”

  9. Val says:

    In the last census, I was visited after sending in the filled out census form by two people who disagreed with one of my answers. I told them that I had answered the question as I understood. They kept arguing about it, so I told them to leave. A few days later, another one came and threatened me because I had asked the census takers to leave my property. This time they are sending out two census form for our single family, and I intend to only fill out one form. I presume that they will come back and threaten me again. My question is what sort of penalty will I have to pay for telling the truth as I understand it?

  10. pamela says:

    all they are getting from me is the number of people living in my house. thats it. thats all they need. no more!!!

  11. Aurea Bettencourt says:

    My husband and I did not get Census Forms because we have no mail delivery on our residential address, we have a post office box. For the last thirty four years the Post Office has always delivered all our mail at the Post Office box regardless of how it has been addressed. Today we were informed by the Post Office that our forms were returned marked “undeliverable as addressed”.
    This action will require the Census Bureau to send a person to our house to get the information required. What a waste of taxpayers money! We can do better than that!
    Aurea

  12. frank says:

    so now I guess you should expect one & perhaps many visits from the census staffers to follow up. your lack of complete responses will cost the taxpayers way more than necessary.

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