The hiring of hundreds of thousands of temporary workers for the 2020 Census – often described as the nation’s largest civilian mobilization — is now underway.
The Census Bureau has already begun recruiting and hiring people to work on an important preliminary operation for the 2020 Census that begins in August.
Known as In-Field Address Canvassing, this is the process of having field staff visit specific geographic areas to identify every place where people live or could live. The staff then compare what they see on the ground to the existing census address list. They verify, correct, or add address and location information.
As of March 4, more than 170,000 recruits had already completed job applications to qualify for temporary census jobs and more than 800 had been hired.
Thanks to key innovations and new technology including spatial imagery, address canvassing will be easier to do, less labor intensive and more cost efficient than in years past.
Once the Address Canvassing operation is completed in October 2019, the Census Bureau will finalize the address list for the 2020 Census. That list will be used to mail out invitations to complete the 2020 Census.
The Census Bureau is working to fill thousands of positions nationwide in order to update this address list. As of March 4, more than 170,000 recruits had already completed job applications to qualify for temporary census jobs and more than 800 had been hired.
More will be hired through the year for jobs in the spring and summer of 2020. That’s when census workers knock on doors to interview people who don’t respond to the census.
Applicants can qualify for both field and office positions. The office positions, which are more limited, will be located in area census offices. The role of these offices is to recruit, select, hire, train, manage, and pay all office and field staff who work within the designated boundaries of the geographic territory assigned to the office.
Between January and March 2019, 39 area census offices for the Address Canvassing operation will become ready for business (see 2020census.gov/jobs.html for a map and pay rates). Ultimately, another 209 such offices will open by September as the 2020 Census gears up for peak operations. That includes going door to door to follow up with households that don’t initially respond.
Applying for one of these jobs is simple. Just visit 2020census/jobs or call 855-JOB-2020 and select option 3 for more information. Pay rates for field and clerical jobs can be found at: 2020census.gov/jobs.html.
Those who are being considered for a position will receive a telephone interview. If offered a job, they will receive instructions on next steps via email.
Applicants will need to complete paperwork online and make an appointment to get fingerprinted for the background check. Once they are offered the job, there will be a period of time before their start date to allow time for the background clearance process. To search for possible management positions, go to USAjobs.gov.
If applicants are not selected for the Address Canvassing operation, they may be called later if positions open later this year or in 2020. Their applications will remain on file.
Robert Bernstein is Team Lead, Stakeholder Relations Staff in the Census Bureau’s Decennial Communications Coordination Office.