EDITOR’S NOTE:This is the first of a two-part series on the 2010 census.
Hundreds of people in the North Olympic Peninsula will be hired for full-time census-worker jobs beginning at $13.25 an hour as part of the upcoming decennial count of Americans.
Applications are being taken now, and hiring will begin at the end of this month. Most will be hired in March or April.
Crew leaders will earn $14.75 an hour, and field operations supervisors $16.25 an hour, said Silverdale census office manager Brian Maule, supervisor for a five-county region covering the North Olympic Peninsula and Kitsap, Grays Harbor and Mason counties.
Potential applicants must be 18, pass a basic skills test and undergo four days of paid training beginning the last week of January.
The workers also will receive a gas allowance of 50 cents a mile.
Census applicants should phone the Census Bureau jobs line 866-861-2010.
They should go to www.2010.Census.gov and click on “job seekers” for more information.
Applicants can take a 28-question online practice test, and when they take the real thing are expected to score “in the high 90s out of 100” to be considered for employment, said Deni Luna, the spokeswoman for the Census Bureau’s regional office in Bothell.
Here’s a rough schedule for applicants, according to census officials:
• Hiring begins at the end of January.
• In February, census workers will start visiting “group quarters” — facilities such as retirement homes, jails and the Clallam Bay Corrections Center — in preparation for actual on-site numerations in March and April, Maule said.
• After the first week in April, census workers will begin visiting homes of residents who haven’t filled out their census forms.
• By the end of July, the numerators will make their final efforts to obtain unreturned questionnaires.
John Miller, a member of the Census Bureau-sponsored Complete Count Committee for Clallam County, said the full-time jobs will last from three to six months.
“It’s somewhat akin to mobilizing a citizen army to get this done in a short period of time,” Miller said.
Some will staff census help-center offices that will be established in as-yet undetermined locations in both counties, but many also will travel the counties’ roads to follow up on unfilled forms.
Typically, two-thirds of respondents do not return their questionnaires, Maule said.
He estimated that 1,500 workers will be hired in the five-county region to follow up on residents who are delinquent in filling out their 10-question forms, including “several hundred or more, depending on the workload, ” in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
That would be sweet music to Clallam County, which recorded a 1 percent jump in unemployment to 9.8 percent in November compared to October, and Jefferson County, which had 8.6 percent unemployment in November, up .8 percent.
Ready to hire lots of people
“We are getting ready to hire lots of people,” Maule said Thursday.
“It depends on how much work is needed, and how many census forms are returned,” Maule said.
Most will be hired in March or April, “but we will be continually adding staff,” he added.
“We want to try to hire people to work in their local communities. We’re trying to get people from the Makah tribe to numerate the Makah nation, hire people from Sequim to numerate the people in Sequim, and the same for the Port Townsend folks.”
They also will staff assistance centers that will be set up in both counties, though the exact locations have not been determined.
The census forms will be mailed out by March 15 and are due April 1.
On April 15, census workers will begin visiting residences that haven’t returned census forms.
Although census workers want forms to be returned quickly, Maule noted, in a “cynical” sort of way, that the longer residents take to return their forms, the longer numerators work — and the more money they will make.
On Monday: Plans made in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
________Staff writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-417-3536 or at [email protected]