2020 Census

On Aug. 13, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions in how fill out the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Ga. The U.S. Census Bureau says a test for the 2020 census shows having a question about citizenship didn’t have much of an impact on response rates for the general population, though responses by Hispanics were down slightly. The test results were released Oct. 31.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the Census Bureau has identified West Virginia as a priority area for securing job applicants in the coming months to help ensure people are counted next year.

The U.S. Census Bureau must hire 500,000 people — including census takers and office personnel — in the next 90 days to support the 2020 Census in the spring, the agency said in a press release.

West Virginia is among the places identified as high priority because of its relative lack of broadband internet service.

Hiring has begun for a variety of jobs including census takers who visit homes and office workers who check home addresses, among other things. Pay ranges from $13 to $30 an hour, depending on where you live, according to the release.

The job of census taker, or enumerator, is going high-tech for the 2020 Census.

Gone are the days of lugging around big bags of forms, manuals and maps and boxes of documents. Now, enumerators will use smartphones and laptops to update addresses and help people respond to the census.

Mapping software developed by the Census Bureau will devise the best times to call on people at their homes and best routes to reach them.

“Everything used to be on paper,” said Burton Reist, assistant director for communications at the Census Bureau, in the release. “We had boxes and boxes of paper. Now it’s all mapped out on the phone.”

The 2020 Census is a count of every person living in the United States on April 1, 2020, the official Census Day. It asks a few simple questions, including age and number of people living in the home. It not only counts people but also where they are living on Census Day.

Responses to the 2020 Census are used by state, local, and federal officials to determine billions of dollars of funding every year for the next 10 years for critical public services such as hospitals, schools, emergency response services, and road maintenance and construction.

“These jobs can be a great second job, and we’re pitching them to students, bus drivers, teachers and others,” said Jeff Behler, regional director of the Census Bureau’s New York Regional Office, said in the release. “You can work your 40-hour-per-week job and work for us on the weekends and be successful.”

For the first time, people can apply online at https://2020census.gov/en/jobs/job-details.html to work for the 2020 Census.