Hutchinson — The nation’s economy may be soft, but the U.S. Census Bureau will be hiring in Kansas soon.
Regional Manager Dennis Johnson, whose Kansas City, Mo., office oversees six states, says the bureau plans to hire about 1,000 people in Kansas, with at least a few workers in every county.
“The bulk of the jobs will be hired in early 2009,” Johnson told The Hutchinson News.
Johnson said that most positions will be part time and that hiring will begin in February and continue into March.
An early wave of part-time workers will go door-to-door through the spring and early summer of 2009, verifying where people live.
In 2010, the federal government will mail census questionnaires, which people are to complete and mail back.
Unlike in 2000, when some households received a longer form, the 2010 Census will send a short form to all households.
“Following that, we will hire another group of people — in fact, more people — to go out and visit the households where we did not get a questionnaire back,” Johnson said.
Verifying addresses in 2009 probably will be accomplished during the day, he said, while surveying people who did not return questionnaires likely will require evening and weekend work.
Starting pay for the part-time jobs is $10 an hour, Johnson said. The reimbursement rate for mileage is 58.5 cents, but Johnson said it could drop because fuel prices have fallen.
The first of Kansas’ four Census offices has opened in Topeka. The others, in Kansas City, Wichita and western Kansas are expected to open in 2009.
Census jobs are short-lived, but Johnson said they could help people struggling in the recession.
“We’re hoping that maybe working for the Census can be a bridge until they get something a little more permanent,” Johnson said.