EVERETT — It happens every 10 years. And has since 1790.
Though it’s only 2018, the government is gearing up for the next decennial ritual in 2020.
The U.S. Census Bureau wants to count you — and put you to work.
A force of about 300 census workers is needed in the Seattle area.
“We’re hiring,” said Donald Bendz, an agency spokesman in California. “It’s perfect for folks who are retired or stay-at-home spouses. Or just anyone looking to make quick post-holiday money.”
About 250 people are needed to work from home starting in January. Pay starts at $23 an hour, plus mileage, he said. Hours are flexible and mostly part-time.
Between 30 to 50 workers will staff the Seattle office opening in January. Full-time positions for clerks and managers start at $18.50 an hour, with regular work schedules. There will not be a Census Bureau office in Snohomish County.
All census workers are considered federal employees.
Benefits vary according to the jobs, which continue as needed until the fall of 2020.
“In our first round of hiring, we’re doing address canvassing,” he said. “These are the people who will go to a specific address and verify what’s there: Is it still a home, an empty lot? Was it an empty lot in 2010 and now it’s a series of condos?”
Home-based workers will be given locations to scout in their area, he said.
In some cases, it might be more sporadic than steady.
“It might be six weeks for one round. As the operations continue down our timeline, we can call upon the same people,” Bendz said. “Later, people will go door-to-door for people who didn’t respond.”
Workers will be equipped with handheld electronic devices to enter information. The census will be paperless.
“For the first time, you will respond to the census online,” Bendz said.
Canvassing tests for the 2020 U.S. Census were conducted in three locations, including Pierce County. The other sites were in Rhode Island and West Virginia.
There are some controversies brewing.
The costs and politics of counting heads of a growing and increasingly diverse population create a perfect storm around how the newfangled census could play out.
One issue is the possibility that it might include questions “to determine U.S. citizenship and immigration status” that some people might fear answering. This could cause inaccurate results.
Residents must answer the census survey by law, though the agency hasn’t prosecuted anyone since 1970.
The Constitution requires a census to determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives per state. Data also is used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.
There are 248 area Census Bureau offices nationwide to tally around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units.
If those numbers seem a monumental task, consider that the population of the world is about 7.5 billion.
China is the most populated country, with about 1.4 billion people, followed by India’s 1.35 billion. The U.S. is a distant third in population size. Countries have various means of counting heads. Canada does a census every five years, as does Japan, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
Job applicants must apply online at www.usajobs.gov. Need help? There are sections with FAQs and tips.
More at www.census.gov.
Andrea Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing email@example.com or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.