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Census Bureau To Hire Over A Million Workers

Compiled By CityTownInfo.com Staff
November 30, 2009

More than a million temporary workers will be hired by the U.S. Census Bureau for the 2010 count--a hopeful piece of good news for the nation's many unemployed workers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that most of the jobs will pay between $10-$20 an hour and will involve knocking on doors, processing data and publicizing the census. The total number of hires will depend on how many U.S. residents return their census forms.

Not surprisingly, job applicants are showing up in droves. "What we're seeing now is blowing our socks off," said Wendy Button, recruiting chief for the bureau, who was quoted by the Journal. "We're seeing a huge response to very little media."

In Michigan, which has the nation's highest unemployment rate, thousands of unemployed area residents are expected to apply. WILX reports that Jeanine Bogdan, Office Operations Supervisor for Field Operations and Recruiting, landed her job with the census bureau after being unemployed for two years.

Nigel Gault of HIS Global Insight told The New York Times that the census hiring "should probably be enough to turn employment growth positive by March." Yet others expect that the hiring boost will only temporarily help the economy.

"Fundamentally, the impact on the economy is rather limited," said Harm Bandholz, an economist with UniCredit Group who was quoted by the Journal. "Consumer confidence may be lifted a bit by that, but there is no real hard connection between consumer confidence and consumer spending in the short term."

But for the time being, unemployed workers are jumping at the opportunity for a job--even if it is temporary. Officials are urging people to apply as well.

"In these difficult times, when so many of our residents are struggling to find work, these Census Taker positions can represent a lifeline for a few months," said Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago in a press release. "They might make the difference between being able to pay your bills or not."

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