Editor’s Note: Nearly 600,000 Americans lost their jobs last month, driving unemployment to 7.6%. That’s its highest level since 1992. Overall, some 3.6 million jobs have disappeared since 2008. While a lot of companies are issuing pink-slips, a few are hiring. Here’s one place that’s looking for a lot of workers, but act quickly.
CNN Senior National Editor
Think of this as an enormous help-wanted ad as the U.S. economy flushes thousands of jobs daily.
Or think of this as a stimulus program, of a sort.
In the past, the agency has relied on college students, retirees and stay-at-home moms to fill its ranks, but in the current environment a different mix is possible.
Thousands more people than needed have applied for the 3,000 jobs in Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia; states that have suffered a decline in traditional manufacturing jobs.
While in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the local office manager said, “At $10 an hour, I'm getting a lot of college graduates and [those with] masters degrees.”
The U.S. Constitution mandates a count be made of the nation’s population every decade and it takes a lot of people to count a lot more people.
When the first Census was conducted on August 2, 1790, the population was more than 3.9 million people, including more than 697,000 slaves.
The 2000 Census counted more than 281 million Americans. At this writing the U.S. population is ticking toward 306 million.
This spring Census workers will verify addresses based on the 2000 Census, removing those out of date and adding new ones.
Next year, Census questionnaires will be mailed to those verified addresses.
Census workers will knock on the doors of residences that don’t mail back the questionnaire.
Why is this important?
Start with the $300 billion from taxpayers that is allocated to the states by formulas pegged to Census results.
Then consider that the Census also determines which states will gain or lose seats in Congress (translation: power and influence).
Census Bureau spokeswoman Shelly Lowe says that three-quarters of the agency’s 12 regions are on target to receive the number of applications they need before hiring.
The current economy has expanded the pool of potential applicants.
"The economy is a bad thing, there's no question about that," Census office manager George Gutierrez told the Colorado Springs Independent. "But for us, it's a blessing, kind of," a hesitant sentiment echoed from Census offices around the country.
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