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U.S. Census Bureau Aiming To Fill Jobs Before Next Spring

U.S. Census hiring week kicked off Monday. Across the country that means the launch of targeted television ads and posters aimed at getting people to apply for the half a million temporary jobs the Census Bureau needs to fill before next spring.

In Montana, the U.S. Census Bureau is hiring up to 4,500 Montanans to count the state’s population in the upcoming 2020 Census.

The Census will determine how much money Montana gets to pay for highways, school lunches, medicare, and more. The census count will also decide whether or not Montana will get another representative in Congress.

“Truly it impacts many different aspects of life here in the state,” says Emilie Ritter Saunders, a spokesperson for the Montana Department of Commerce, one of the agencies overseeing Montana’s census efforts.

Nearly 500 Montanans were already hired this fall to verify addresses before the census is mailed out. Some of those workers will be rehired for jobs in the Spring going door-to-door, but thousands more applicants are still needed in the state.

“It’s important to have Montanans in these jobs because a neighbor talking to a neighbor about the importance of the census is much more effective than hearing that message from a stranger or through a TV ad for example,” Saunder says.

Saunders says every person missed in the count in Montana is a loss of $20,000 to the state in federal funds. Door-to-door visits by census workers are critical in getting the once-a-decade count right. According to the Census Bureau, fewer than seven in 10 households plan to take part in the upcoming census. But census workers who make house visits help ensure that even when people don’t mail the census back in, they still get counted.

Saunders says census workers are needed in every corner of the state. Though the census is still months away, anyone interested should apply now because the federal hiring process can take up to three months.

Interested parties may apply online at U.S. Census Bureau or through the Montanaworks.gov website.

Learn more about how Montana is preparing for the Census at census.mt.gov.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.