2010 Census: Keeping Count (and Earning Cash)

What if I told you the U.S government plans to create 45,000 jobs in Indiana this year?

OK, maybe not the permanent, high-paying jobs we’re looking for. But that’s how many Hoosier workers will be hired for the 2010 Census.  The temporary positions (many lasting two to six weeks) will pay between $12.25 and $15 per hour. Jobs include census takers, office clerks and crew leaders.

Interested job seekers must take a basic skills test (check out the practice exam) and undergo a background check. Testing is going on now in Marion County and other parts of the state. Testing times and locations are available by calling toll-free (866) 861-2010. More information about the 2010 Census and employment is available on the state’s census site.

So what’s the big deal with the census? The United States conducted its first one in 1790 and has done so every decade since then. The population count determines the number of seats Indiana and others states have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Data also is used to determine political districts and funding distribution for schools, roads, elderly care and neighborhood improvement.

Basically, if every Hoosier is not counted that means less representation and less federal funding for communities. Most people will not fill the role of census taker, but all should take the time to fill out the 10-question form (look for it in the mail in mid-March) – that way a census worker won’t have to come knocking.