by Mark Hedin
The Census Bureau has said it expects to hire about a half-million people nationwide to help in its all-important counting of everybody living in the United States, something the government has done every 10 years since 1790.
That half-million hiring target is a sizable decrease from the last census, in 2010, when the bureau was more dependent on shoe leather than silicon to get the work done. Instead of the 635,000 people hired in 2010 to knock on doors to fill out questionnaires with people who hadn’t gotten theirs to the mailbox, in 2020, for the first time, the government is counting on people filling out their forms online.
The half-million Census Bureau jobs are open to any U.S. citizen who can pass a background check, is at least 18 and possesses a Social Security number. In California, census officials project they will fill or already have filled about 12,800 positions.
“It’s a relatively fluid number, just a projection,” said Celeste Jiménez, assistant regional census manager based in Los Angeles. That’s because for “enumerators,” the biggest category of census workers, the number of people hired will depend on how many people didn’t complete their census questionnaires promptly next year, leading the Census Bureau to hire people who know their communities and languages and can go out into the field and come back with completed questionnaires from the non-responders.
This year, the Census Bureau is focused on setting up and staffing offices across the country and checking and updating the list of addresses used to send people reminders and instructions on filling out the 2020 Census questionnaire online when it is released in mid-March.
In California, where there will be 30 census offices up and down the state, the administrative jobs ꟷ mostly already filled or due to fill soon
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