Census Eclipses 500K Applicants, Still Needs 2.3M More

The U.S. Census Bureau is exceeding its recruiting goals as it prepares to launch the decennial count, though it is facing some challenges to hire and train employees as it seeks 2.3 million more applicants. 

The bureau has already received more than 500,000 applicants, Tim Olson, Census’ associate director for field operations, said at an event in Las Vegas this week. That recruiting effort was to fill jobs for address canvassing, a process that enables Census to verify the type and location of every household in the country. Census only needed 200,000 applicants to fill the 50,000-60,000 jobs the canvassing required, Olson said, but all the applicants will remain in the bureau’s database as it hires enumerators for next year’s count. 

Census needs to hire 500,000 people next year for jobs that will pay between $13.50 and $30 an hour. The bureau plans to start its major recruiting drive in October, Olson said, and will seek 2.3 million applicants. Census will launch an advertising campaign for the hiring at both a national and local level. It has already hired 5,000 recruiters throughout the country to solicit applicants, he said.