In advance of the 2020 census beginning in March, census officials have found themselves short on applicants for temporary census-taking jobs and have bumped up the pay rate to attract more attention.
Jennifer Hillmann, US Census Bureau media specialist for Colorado and Wyoming, said the new rates in Wyoming will range from $17 to $21.50 per hour, depending on the position’s location.
“We’re hoping that will entice more people to apply, because we are still quite short on the number both in Wyoming and nationwide,” Hillmann said. “We have hundreds of jobs that we still need to hire for in Wyoming, and hundreds in Albany County alone.”
Teton and Weston counties are other areas in Wyoming that are especially in need of applicants.
“The majority of those positions are going to be our census-takers, or enumerators,” Hillmann said. “They will interview residents and update our address list – if you have not responded, then the census-takers are the ones who will come door-to-door and talk to you and get your information that way.”
All homes are projected to receive an invitation to participate in the census by April 1, 2020. Responses can also be submitted online, a first for the national census.
Those wishing to apply for positions such as field supervisors, recruiting assistants or office aides have the opportunity to answer several additional questions pertaining to their experience. Otherwise, a single application will cover all available jobs.
Census officials are keen on hiring individuals with language skills other than English to connect with a variety of Wyoming residents, especially for communities that include Hispanic or American Indian residents.
“It really depends on your area, and that’s why we hire local people,” Hillmann said. “Local people are going to know what their population demographic is and what the languages spoken in that community are.”
Hillmann emphasized the flexible nature of census-taker jobs; students and part-time workers are those who have traditionally filled the ranks. While applicants will ideally be able to devote at least 10 or 15 hours in a week, census officials are aware that these individuals may have other commitments.
“If you’re only able to work 15 hours in a week, you can pick the hours that work around your class schedule or if you have a part time job, it’s absolutely flexible,” Hillmann said. “You can say ‘you know what, this whole week I can’t do anything but this weekend I can work 8 hours on Saturday.’”
Applications are currently open at 2020census.gov/jobs. Pending a hiring process including background checks, applicants may need to wait until January or February of 2020 for a final word.