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The US Census Bureau Needs More Workers In The St. Louis Region — Here’s How To Apply

Census workers in the field will have clear identification showing they work for the U.S. Department of Commerce.
U.S. Census Bureau

The St. Louis-area census office needs several hundred more people to apply to be census takers. The local office wants at least 13,000 applicants, and it has reached around 90% of that target, said Linda Gladden, a media specialist with the bureau.

The St. Louis office is responsible for counts in the city as well as St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.

The available positions are for part-time census takers — the people who will go to homes that don’t submit an initial response online, by mail or by phone. The census bureau tries to place workers in neighborhoods where they live or that they know well, Gladden said.

Other regional offices in Kansas City, Springfield, Missouri, and Springfield, Illinois, have also hired the majority of the enumerators they need, Gladden said.

"Ultimately we want to get everyone counted, and we know that people are more apt to open the door if it's a person that looks familiar to them." — Linda Gladden, U.S. Census Bureau

The census bureau wants to eventually fill nearly 500,000 jobs nationwide. Low unemployment nationally has made it difficult to fill every temporary position, Gladden said. 

“There’s really no definite deadline [to apply],” she said. “The U.S. Census Bureau will accept applications even after all positions are filled.”

She explained the bureau over-recruits in case there is turnover and the agency needs to quickly fill an open position. 

“We’re dealing with a number of unknowns here. It’s really contingent upon the number of people that self-respond,” Gladden said. “The higher the self-response rate, that means there will be fewer people who are knocking on doors.”

Depending on location in the St. Louis region, these temporary positions will pay between $19 and $23.50 an hour.

What are the requirements?

Gladden said applicants for these jobs must: 

  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be a U.S. citizen. (Noncitizens with valid employment eligibility will be considered for positions that require proficiency in a particular language if there are no qualified citizen applicants.)
  • Have a valid email address. 
  • Speak, read and write English.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service program, or have a qualifying exemption if they’re a male born after Dec. 31, 1959.
  • Go through fingerprinting and pass a criminal background check.
  • Have access to a computer with internet access.

Applicants also need to commit to training and be able to work flexible hours, Gladden said. She added most will need a driver’s license and access to a vehicle unless public transportation is available.
“If the individual applying is currently employed, their job must be compatible with the census bureau employment and not create conflicts of interest,” she said.

How can I apply?

Go to: www.2020census.gov/jobs  

Eric Schmid covers the Metro East for St. Louis Public Radio as part of the journalism grant program Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Follow Eric on Twitter: @EricDSchmid

Send questions and comments about this article to: feedback@stlpublicradio.org

Eric Schmid covers business and economic development for St. Louis Public Radio.