Need a job? The census is hiring

January 25, 2010 4:45:14 PM PST
If you need a job, you know how hard finding one is right now, but there is some good news right around the corner. Thousands are about to become available and now is the time to apply. The jobs are temporary, but right now, the Census Bureau has a serious shortfall in workers for jobs they need to fill in the next few weeks.

Workforce Solutions offices around Houston are seeing an increase in the number of people looking for work, but finding a job is not easy.

"With so many people applying, it is just rough if you don't have the skills," said Gail Renfro, who's looking for a job. "And they want younger people."

Renfro would like a permanent job, but recently applied for a temporary position with the U.S. Census Bureau. She worked with the agency last year.

"It is a good job and it is good experience and anyone and everyone should try," she said.

That's the same message census officials are trying to get across because the agency needs to fill 15,000 positions in a matter of weeks.

"We have a shortfall we are desperately in need of folks to come work for us," said Vincent Ivery with the U.S. Census Bureau. "We have anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 folks we need to hire in a short time frame."

The jobs pay from $12 to $20 an hour and will start March 1 and last until the middle of June. Job seekers are placed in their own zip codes.

To get a census job, you need to take a qualifying test. You find a sample version on the Census Bureau's web site and find out how to schedule a test in your area. Officials with the Texas Workforce Solutions say the jobs are coming at time when they are needed.

"Last week, we saw 1,200 people come through our doors and that's a lot of people, and if you look around, it's pretty full now," said staffing specialist Cherise Roberts.

Many census workers will go door to door alone. Former workers say that may sound scary, but...

"Yes, we went into apartment complexes, but it's always in the day," said former census worker Colleen O'Brien. "You always speak to management and they always know when you are on the property."

If you need a job and want to apply with the Census Bureau, you can call the U.S. Census Bureau at 1-866-861-2010