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U.S. Census Bureau Hiring in the High Country for Upcoming 2020 Census

As the 2020 Census is beginning to approach, the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to add onto its staff and hire thousands of people across the United States, including the High Country. Census–taking positions provide the perfect chance for students, retirees, and part-time or seasonal workers, to earn some extra income while helping their community

Pay will vary anywhere from $13.50 to $22.00 per hour, depending on where the candidate lives. Census takers also receive reimbursement for work-related mileage and expenses, where it is applicable.

For Ashe County, the pay rate for a census-worker position comes in at $16.00 an hour with area offices in Winston – Salem, $17.00 for those living in Avery County with area census offices in Asheville, and $17.00 for those in Watauga County with area census offices in Asheville as well.

Data from the US Census Bureau states that job offers and background checks will begin in January and take place through April. Census-taker training and work will begin in March and finish at the end of July.

To apply for one of these positions, the first step is to complete the online job application. This process should take about 30 minutes and will include some assessment questions about your education, work, and other experience. In order to fill out this application, you will need: your social security number, home address (physical location) and mailing address, email address and phone number, and your date and place of birth. In addition, if you’re a veteran who would like to claim veterans’ preference, you will need supporting documentation.

What to Expect

Most 2020 Census positions will likely last several weeks. These temporary positions can include census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff. They feature competitive wages, weekly paychecks, flexible hours, and paid training. Some positions require evening and/or weekend shifts because you must be available to interview members of the public when they are at home. 

Some of these positions include:

Recruiting Assistants – Travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities.

Office Operations Supervisors – Assist in the management of office functions and day-to-day activities in one or more functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.

Census Field Supervisors – Conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers and/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. Some field positions require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other field positions require interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home, such as in the evening and on weekends.

This job also doubles as a great service to the community because the work can help to determine each state’s representation in Congress, and subsequently, how public funds are spent for things such as schools, hospitals, roads, and more. This can be seen as a vital part of our state functioning well as a whole, as according to Bob Coats, a demographics and economics analyst for the state and Gov. Roy Cooper’s census liaison, the census dictates two things: “money and power.” Additionally, a recent George Washington University study stated the census ultimately allocates $1,623 in federal funding per person, per year for a decade, and according to the NC Census Bureau, “provides the basis for reapportioning Congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing billions of dollars in federal funding to support your state, county, and community’s vital programs.”

If those working at the Census Bureau undercount by 900 people — a paltry 1% of Asheville’s 2010 population — and that’s $14.7 million down the drain. “That’s not new dollars,” Coats added. “That’s taxes you’ve already paid. In order to bring those dollars home, you have to be counted.”

Furthermore, “The best way for people to see the impact of the census is to have a bad census,” Chuck Megown, the Census Bureau’s partnership representative for Buncombe and Haywood counties, said during a presentation on Latino census engagement on Nov. 6th. Essentially, the Census acts as a crucial and vital aspect of our economy, infrastructure, and much more on both the state and federal level.

Applicants will be placed in an applicant pool for 2020 Census field positions for positions they qualify for and will be contacted as work becomes available in their area. For more information, contact 1-855-JOB-2020.