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Census hiring hundreds to fill temporary jobs in Pierce County

These "Hand Held Computers" (HHCs) were used for checking and correcting the data by U.S. Census "address canvassers". Workers traveled in teams around Pierce County to make sure a master list of addresses was correct for the 2010 U.S. Census. April 2, 2009 Peter Haley / The News Tribune
These "Hand Held Computers" (HHCs) were used for checking and correcting the data by U.S. Census "address canvassers". Workers traveled in teams around Pierce County to make sure a master list of addresses was correct for the 2010 U.S. Census. April 2, 2009 Peter Haley / The News Tribune THE NEWS TRIBUNE

The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring more than 100 people this year as the agency ramps up to test its technology before the 2020 Census.

Wages start at $14.25 an hour. As workers train, their pay can climb as high as $20 an hour if they become supervisors. Work will begin in the fall.

The bureau is recruiting for positions now for work in Pierce County this year and in 2018.

Potential employees must pass a background check and a test to determine whether they can read a map and follow instructions. Employees are not required to pass a drug test.

Those interested in the temporary work should call 888-658-5564.

Next year, the bureau’s temporary workforce locally will climb by more than 750 people as the agency conducts its 2018 End-to-End Census Test.

The test, which helps prepare the bureau for the 2020 Census, will be done in Pierce County and in Providence County, Rhode Island, and Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, West Virginia.

The three counties were picked because of the mix of urban and rural addresses, along with their diverse populations, said Julie Lam, assistant regional director for the Census Bureau’s Los Angeles office.

“We want to get as many people as possible to apply” for the work, she said.

$14.25 - $20 Wage per hour for temporary Census workers during the 2018 End-to-End Test in Pierce County

Workers hired this year, called listers or enumerators, will verify addresses in areas in the county that have grown since the 2010 Census, she said.

Last year, the agency called the 2018 test the “largest and most advanced systems and operations test in preparation for the 2020 Census.”

The bureau aims to count every resident throughout the country and collect information about them — age, sex, ethnicity and more.

Next year, about 330,000 households in Pierce County will receive a Census form by mail. Those who do not fill out the form will be visited in person by enumerators, Lam said.

For this test, residents can fill out the form online or by calling an operator, she said.

Because the bureau won’t certify the 2018 results, it will not release the data publicly.

Census information determines how many members of Congress each state receives. Local officials use Census data to craft political boundaries, locations for schools and other infrastructure needs.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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