In this August 2019 photo, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions on how to fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Georgia. (AP Photo/John Amis. file)

In this August 2019 photo, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions on how to fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Georgia. (AP Photo/John Amis. file)

Census hiring hundreds countywide for help with 2020 count

Workers are temporarily needed starting in May. Pay is $20 per hour, and schedules are flexible.

EVERETT — Hiring for hundreds of jobs is in the works in Snohomish County as the U.S. Census Bureau prepares for its nationwide survey that happens once every decade.

The federal agency is accepting applications to temporarily help with the count, by visiting people’s homes who do not initially respond to the questionnaire.

In Snohomish County, the average pay is $20 per hour. That number varies depending on where someone works. In King County, for example, pay can reach $23 per hour.

Applications are online at, and are accepted until the end of February.

Census polls are sent out starting in March and those who are hired begin in May. Schedules are flexible, and a person can work full or part time, including in the evenings and on weekends.

“We look at it as Seattle’s best side hustle if you are a college student or retiree, or have a job and just want to make some extra cash,” Census spokesperson Toby Nelson said.

Jobs are anticipated to last eight weeks, depending on how much work there is. It’s not clear yet how many positions will be available, because that depends on the number of people who voluntarily respond to the survey.

Around the country, the agency expects to fill around 500,000 positions.

To be hired, a person must either be a U.S. citizen or have authorization to work in the United States. Applicants must be 18 years or older, have a Social Security number and email address, and pass a background check and FBI fingerprint scan.

For the most part, participants will be asked to visit households in their own neighborhoods. The agency suggests that people have reliable transportation, though it’s not necessary.

Employees who do drive will be reimbursed at 58 cents per mile, Nelson said.

The census has been tracked every 10 years since 1790, and is required by the U.S. Constitution. The agency strives to tally every person who lives in the country, and all answers are kept anonymous.

Results are used to determine each state’s number of representatives in Congress and how billions of federal dollars are spent locally. Data also can be used to track population growth and demographics in a certain area.

To apply for a census job, go to or call 1-855-JOB-2020.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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