750,000 New Census Jobs: A Blessing and a Curse
How could the creation of 750,000 new jobs with the Census Bureau be a bad thing? When those jobs are only temporary and part time, and they trick the powers that be into relaxing their efforts to solve the nation's unemployment problem. It's true that a little work is better than no work at all, but politicians could well slack off their job-creating duties when they see the lower unemployment rates and higher hiring rates those 2010 Census jobs could bring about in the month of April.
Here's the skinny: The Census Bureau is filling as many as 1.2 million positions, but some workers will do multiple duties. And, the vast majority of the new hires will work 19-hours a week for six weeks. Their jobs will be to go door-to-door, following up with those who failed to respond to the mailed out Census forms. The length of the jobs will depend on the number of non-responders, and the amount of time it takes to contact them.
Some experts predict that the 2010 Census hires could lower the unemployment rate .5 points, taking it from 9.7 to 9.2 in April and/or May. Politicians could point to those numbers and say, "Look! Our policies really are working! The problem is obviously solved," and then slack off, when they should be redoubling their efforts.
"This is in no way going to solve our unemployment situation. It's going to be a blip. A big blip, but it's going to be a blip," Wendy Button, chief of the decennial recruiting branch of the Census Bureau, told The Hill.com.
As of February, the Census Bureau had already hired 41,000 employees. Depending on their duties and location, a Census employee earns roughly from $11-22 per hour. Those interested in applying for a position can find out everything they need to know by clicking on 2010.Census.gov.
Carmen Montoya is one of those workers who easily passed the test given to potential employees, and is waiting to be called in to start. "Work is work, even it it's temporary and part time, and I'm grateful for it," she said. It's getting me out of the house and meeting people. And, since it's only part time, I still have plenty of time to devote to my real job search. I've been out of work for more than eight months now, and at this point, I'm just happy for anything that comes my way."
Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.