The federal Census Bureau is boosting paychecks in a bid to draw temporary workers amid Colorado’s tight jobs market.
With unemployment at 2.7% statewide, and more job openings than job seekers, the Census Bureau upped its pay to $16 per hour from $13 per hour, the agency said in a news release.
“These positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training and weekly paychecks,” spokeswoman Laurie Cipriano said in an email.
The census, conducted once a decade, offers a count of population as of April 1.
It also offers a wealth of demographic information from poverty statistics to the makeup of American households.
The primary use for the count is to reorganize the House of Representatives, giving more seats to states whose population grew over the past 10 years and cutting seats for states whose population shrunk.
Colorado, which has added an estimated 700,000 residents since 2010, stands to gain a seat in the House if workers can get a full count of the population.
Also at stake are billions of dollars in federal grants, which are largely based on population.
“The census is the largest peacetime deployment of civil servants across the country,” Cipriano said. “For the first time ever, it will have an online option, which will make filling out the form easy, safe and secure.”
But getting workers, including canvassers who will head door-to-door starting in May, could prove difficult in Colorado, where a tight labor market has led to a leap in paychecks, including a $40 leap in average weekly paychecks from last year, for an average weekly wage of $976 in El Paso County.
The census added $3 an hour for entry-level workers in Colorado and upped other pay grades.
“Pay rates vary by position and location, with rates in Colorado ranging from $16.00 to $22.50 per hour,” Cipriano said.
The census is hiring workers over 18 for jobs,ranging from office staff to field canvassers. To apply, visit https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html.