Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau
Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a national recruitment effort to hire approximately 500,000 temporary workers to help conduct the 2020 census.

Nearly 4,000 local recruiting events are scheduled to take place this week in communities across the nation, according to a news release.

“We need people to apply now so they can be considered for part-time census taker positions next spring,” said Timothy Olson, Census Bureau associate director for field operations.

“Recent high school graduates, veterans, retirees, military spouses, seasonal workers and applicants who are bilingual are highly encouraged to apply. It’s important we hire people in every community in order to have a complete and accurate census.”

During a news conference on October 22, at its National Processing Center Paper Data Capture Center — West in Phoenix, the Census Bureau provided an update on the status of 2020 Census operations and job opportunities available in Arizona and across the country.

Census Bureau officials were joined by national and regional partners, including AARP, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Arizona’s Complete Count Committee and Arizona’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of America is proud to be a national partner of the 2020 Census,” said Julie Teer, chief development and public affairs officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “As a trusted voice in communities around the country, Boys & Girls Clubs can help reach hard-to-count communities, ensuring an accurate census and snapshot of our population.”

Following the news conference, partner organizations and members of the media received a tour of the processing center.

During the tour, Census Bureau officials explained how census forms are processed and demonstrated the technologies that are making the 2020 census more accurate and efficient.

“Arizona has seen major growth over the last 10 years and we’re on track for more,” said Debbie Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Office of Tourism and chair of Arizona’s Complete Count Committee. “We’re proud to collaborate with our federal and local partners for a complete count in the 2020 census to ensure that we preserve the outstanding quality of life in our state through equitable distribution of funds and services for Arizonans.”

Census takers will be hired to work in their communities and go door to door to collect responses from those who do not respond to the 2020 census online, by phone or by mail.

In certain remote areas like northern Maine and Alaska, census takers are the only way people can respond to the 2020 census.

These positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training and weekly paychecks. Pay rates vary from $13.50 to $30 per hour, depending on where the job is located. To determine the estimated pay rate in an individual area, go to

The selection process for census taker positions begins in January 2020, with paid training occurring in March and April.

Actual enumeration of non-responding households throughout the nation begins in May through early July. Check out the 2020 census website for listings of available jobs for census takers and other positions.

“AARP knows that historically 50 percent of census takers are over the age of 50 and many are retirees,” said Dana Marie Kennedy, AARP’s state director in Arizona. “These folks tend to be reliable, dependable and they know their communities best. They bring with them years of experience and get the job done.”

The 2020 census officially starts counting people in January in remote Toksook Bay, Alaska. Most households in the nation will receive invitations in the mail to respond (online, by phone or by mail) in March.

The Census Bureau will begin advertising nationwide in January to increase awareness about the importance and benefits of participating in the 2020 census.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years.

Census data are used to determine congressional representation in the states and how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed to states and local communities every year for critical public services and infrastructure, including health clinics, schools, roads and emergency services.

For more information on the 2020 census, go to

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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