The California Census Office believes there will be higher participation among African Americans during next year’s census if “trusted messengers” help get the word out and go door-to-door conducting pre-surveys, educating people and helping some fill out questionnaires in Black communities.
The national Census, conducted every 10 years, is mandated by the United States Constitution. It records critical demographic information about residents of every state in the country and it is used to determine political representation in the U. S. Congress, as well as provide important insights into the economy.
Some of the data the bureau collects are obtained using household surveys. The exercise produces statistics that describe populations in detail by characteristics such as age, education, housing, and income.
Since the inception of the Census, Black communities have been routinely undercounted. The reasons for the inaccurate count in the last decennial, census researchers say, included the large number of Black people who move frequently; multigenerational families living in the same home; homes with multiple families sometimes living in different units at the same address that census workers may not recognize; teen single mothers; homelessness; high rates of incarceration; and a general reluctance to participate based on inadequate information.
More than one-third of California’s 2.2 million Black population lives in the Los Angeles area, where there is a large number of tracts the U.S. Census Bureau designates as “hard-to-count” because of inaccurate population totals in the past.
While the margins of uncounted Blacks seem to decrease after every 10 years, the last decennial in 2010 still undercounted the Black population by close to 800,000 people. Inaccurate counts can also impact numbers policymakers depend on to make other important decisions.
Preparing for the 2020 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau is in the process of hiring about 500,000 workers across the country for the national count that will cost the federal government a little over $15 billion.
Tens of thousands of temporary federal employees will join the effort in California to assist with collecting data and reaching out to citizens on the internet, by phone and in person. Pay is based on location and position.
In larger cities like Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, salaries range anywhere from $17.00 to $30.00 per hour for field representative positions.
All applicants must be US citizens, although special exemptions have been made in the past for people with specific languages skills.
Census job opportunities can be found HERE