The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for temporary workers to help with the 2020 count.
The bureau has raised the per-hour pay in North Dakota, in part because of the state’s low unemployment rate.
In western North Dakota, the pay has been increased from $17 an hour to $21 an hour, while in the eastern counties, it went from $15.50 to $18, according to Kevin Iverson, Census Office manager for the state Commerce Department. The exception is Cass County, where the pay is now $21 an hour.
“Since they’ve done that, and since we’ve done everything we could to get the word out, there’s been a step up in the number of people interested in those positions,” Iverson told Prairie Public radio. “They should be — because this has a direct impact for the next decade on those local communities throughout the state.”
The bureau will be hiring more than 1,200 people statewide. The workers will go to households who have not filled out the federal census forms. The hours are flexible.
“The assignments will be created on a daily basis, based on how many hours you have available for the next day,” Iverson said.
It’s important to have local people to help take the Census, according to Iverson.
“If we look at the data from 2010, we know about 26% of households did not respond to the census form, for whatever reason,” he said. “So individuals have to knock on doors, saying, ‘I’m sorry — we didn’t get your census information, but we need to collect it.’ You need individuals that can be trusted, and hopefully, from the area doing that work.”