With Michigan’s unemployment rate at 15 percent and national unemployment hovering around 10 percent, it is welcome news that the upcoming 2010 Census will create hundreds of thousands of temporary, part-time jobs across the United States. Unfortunately, as with any high profile event in the news there will be people trying to take advantage of the situation through phony offers and solicitations to lure the unsuspecting into a wide array of scams. Your local Better Business Bureau offers the following advice on what it takes to work for the Census and tips on how to land a job.
Every ten years, the U.S. government is required to count every man, woman, and child in the country. The 2010 Census is a massive undertaking that requires the work of more than one million individuals. This means that hundreds of thousands of temporary, part-time census taker jobs will be created across the U.S. to assist with the 2010 Census. This should come as great news to job hunters who are looking for ways to pull in a paycheck, even if from a part-time and temporary job.
“With many Michigan families out of work and struggling to make ends meet, gaining employment to assist with the 2010 Census could be an excellent opportunity” noted Tim Burns, Public Affairs Director for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan. “A part-time job with the Census can help pay bills while still leaving the job hunter time to look for permanent employment. Job seekers need to be wary though of scam artists that will be looking to use the high visibility of the Census to lure victims into their schemes and frauds.”
Job hunters can apply for jobs with the Census Bureau now, however, most hiring will take place during the spring of 2010. Census takers usually work in their own communities, going door-to-door, conducting brief interviews with households that did not return their questionnaire. Census takers work approximately 20 to 40 hours per week, primarily in the evenings and on weekends and are paid weekly.
An applicant’s chances of getting a job with the Census depend on many factors, such as the availability of work in his or her community, test score results, number of hours he or she is available for census work and veterans' preference. Also being able to speak a second language—even a rare language—fluently is a sought-after trait. Applicants will need to be flexible as census work is usually conducted on weekends and during evening hours, when most people are at home to complete their census questionnaire.
BBB and the U.S. Census Bureau recommend that interested individuals take the following steps to apply for a job with the 2010 Census:
- Review the Census Bureau’s Jobs Web site – www.2010censusjobs.gov - to see if you may qualify.
- Call 1-866-861-2010 to learn about available jobs and contact your local Census Bureau office to schedule an appointment to take the basic skills test. While you can’t necessarily study to take the test, you can see a sample test online to practice and prepare for the types of questions asked.
For more information on the 2010 Census, visit www.2010census.gov.
Consumers can also obtain additional tips and information on avoiding scams and schemes by visiting the BBB online at www.bbb.org or www.facebook.com/myBBB.