The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting in Queens and across the country to fill temporary paid jobs as we inch closer to the 2020 census.
To be eligible for a 2020 census job, candidates must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, be a U.S. citizen, and have a valid email address.
Candidates must complete an application and answer assessment questions. Some questions will be available in Spanish, but an English proficiency test may also be required.
Those interested in applying must be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption — i.e., if you are a male born after Dec. 31, 1959.
Candidates must also pass a census-performed criminal background check and a review of criminal records — including fingerprinting — commit to completing training and be available to work flexible hours, which can include days, evenings and/or weekends.
Additionally, most jobs require employees to have access to a computer with internet and an email account to complete training. Applicants must also have access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license, unless public transportation is readily available.
Those who are selected for employment must not engage in any partisan political activity while on duty.
Applicants who are veterans — those who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and were separated under honorable conditions — may be eligible for veterans’ preference. Documentation supporting your claim for preference must accompany your application.
The Census Bureau is an equal opportunity employer.
The 2020 census has been a controversial topic and will pose new challenges and raise important questions.
For the first time ever, 80 percent of respondents will be asked to complete the form online, presenting uncertainty over the impact of the digital divide, including how seniors or others who either lack internet access or are limited in their internet proficiency can ensure they are not overlooked.
There is also the potential inclusion of a controversial citizenship question. The federal government announced in March its intention to add such a question, sparking concerns that it could widely discourage responses and lead to a substantial undercount in communities where residents fear being targeted over their immigration or residency status.
Melva Miller, the former deputy Queens borough president, was appointed as the new executive vice president of the nonprofit civic organization Association of a Better New York (ABNY), which is leading the initiative to ensure that as many New Yorkers as possible are counted in the 2020 census. An accurate count is vital to ensure that proper federal funding will go to higher education, affordable housing and other important public concerns, according to the civic organization.
The 2010 census saw dramatic undercounts in Queens neighborhoods with particularly high immigrant populations, such as East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, where thousands were overlooked.
As a whole, the 2010 census reported the population of Queens rose by only 1,300 people over the prior decade, a dubious number thought to be inaccurate, according to Borough President Melinda Katz, who stressed the importance of an accurate count for the 2020 census.
“The census impacts everything we do here in Queens, and we have so much at stake,” Katz said in November. “It determines how much representation we will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, how much funding we will receive for infrastructure and health services and for our schools over the next decade, and much more.”
“In our ever-growing city and boroughs, it is imperative that we be counted fully,” she added. “An undercount means underfunding and under-representation, with real damages and real costs that will hurt communities across America and certainly here in Queens. Everyone is urged to join the discussions to learn about the proposed changes and how you can help ensure your neighborhood is accurately counted.”