Census jobs available as count nears

FAIRMONT — The U.S. Census Bureau is working on the 2020 census and hiring for thousands of temporary jobs across Minnesota and Iowa, including many in the Fairmont area.

The positions allow people to earn extra income while helping their community.

The census has been performed across the country every 10 years since 1790. It counts every single person living in the U.S. once, and in only one place, meaning if someone is attending college in Mankato at the time the census is taken, they will be registered as a citizen of Mankato, even if they are originally from Fairmont.

Completing the census is mandatory by law. The results are used to reapportion seats for the U.S. House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. After each decade’s census, state officials redraw boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts.

An employee of the U.S. Census Bureau said census information determines the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal grants and support to states, counties and communities.

“That money goes to roads, hospitals, schools and other programs. That’s why the census data is so important,” the representative said.

The Census Bureau also says the goal is to get people to self-respond. Everyone is sent a mailing and they can respond online or by phone. If people do not respond, that is when workers come into play. They go out and collect the information. More than 80 percent of Minnesotans self-responded in 2010.

To be eligible to work for the Census Bureau, a person must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number and be a U.S. citizen. Candidates must complete an online job application, which will ask questions about education, work and other experiences.

Jobs at the Census pay $16.50 per hour in Martin County. Flexible hours, including positions working weekends and evenings, are offered.

Available jobs include recruiting assistants, who travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities. Clerks perform various administrative tasks including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.

Census field supervisors conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census-takers or to follow-up in situations where census takers have confronted issues, such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.

Census-takers work in the field. The position requires employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other tasks include interviewing the public.

Applicants will be placed in a pool for 2020 census positions for which they qualify and will be contacted as work becomes available in their area. For more information, visit 2020census.gov or visit the Census Bureau’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.