FOLEY — The federal government wants you to help with the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.
In 1789, Congress passed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, mandating that a census be taken every 10 years. Since the first one was conducted in 1790, there have been 24 conducted across the United States, this will be the 25th.
In 2010, census forms were mailed to all U.S. residents, but less than 10 percent of those forms were returned, prompting officials to begin preparing for the 2020 census as early as five years ago, 2014, to conduct an all door-to-door census done all by electronic device.
According to an official with the U.S. Census Bureau, all of your information will be put on an electronic device. Someone will come to your door with the information and ask you to finger sign the device if all of your information is correct. Then with the push of a button, all of your information will be processed electronically.
With all of the census being done door-to-door, however, there is an immediate need to hire workers.
Beginning back in January of this year, the goal was to hire 80 workers per week. In Baldwin County alone, nearly 400 workers are needed for the first phase of the operation, which will be address canvasing, also known as listers.
Listers are expected to compare information from the 2010 census with current information, noting things such as new housing developments and street extensions.
The Census Bureau will then take that information for the next phase of the operation, which will be the actual census taking, or enumeration. For Baldwin County that means more than 800 workers will be needed for the census phase.
Following the enumeration process, workers will be hired to perform quality assurance to go behind census takers to ensure their work was done properly. Those workers will be hired as early as April 2020 and could be on the job through December.
Workers will be offered flexible hours with competitive pay, from $13.50 to $18 per hour depending on the area. You are not required to work 40 hours a week, but permission must be granted to work more than 40 hours a week, or more than eight hours in a day.
Applicants are encouraged to apply online at 2020census.gov/jobs or you can call toll-free 1-855-JOB (562)-2020 for more information.
According to information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, an accurate count is the goal of every census. The results of the census are used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, planning for roads, schools and hospitals.
According to the Census Bureau official, there is a real danger than Alabama might lose a Congressional seat if there is not a sufficient response.
“We need everyone, individuals and businesses, to help ensure we get an accurate count, particularly in Alabama,” he said. “It is important for the future of all Alabamians.”