Out of Work?

December 30, 2009

A Little Silver Lining...


The national unemployment rate is hovering around 10 percent, but the good news is that the upcoming 2010 Census will create hundreds of thousands of temporary, part-time jobs across the United States. The 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 part-time and temporary job.

If you know of a family provider or individual out of work and struggling to make ends meet, you might want to pass this information along,” said Michael Coil, President/CEO of Better Business of Northern Indiana. “The jobs that are being created to assist with the 2010 Census could not come at a better time. A part-time job with the Census can help pay bills while still leaving the job hunter time to look for permanent employment.”

Job hunters can apply for jobs with the Census Bureau now although 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.

The 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.

• Fill out the appropriate application and take it with you on the day of your testing. You’ll also want to bring your I-9 Form and proper identification when you take the test.

• Follow up on your test results and the status of your application with your local Census office by contacting them directly.

For more information on the 2010 Census, visit www.2010census.gov. Job hunters can find more advice on landing a new job at www.bbb.org.