The Census Bureau Is Counting On You -- To Apply For A Job

Looking for a job? The US Census Bureau is looking for you. And it's not waiting for any lousy stimulus funds. It's hiring now.

There are 3,000 slots in the Houston area for work connected to the 2010 Census, which is ramping up as we speak.

Much of the work involves walking neighborhood streets with a handheld computer, making sure addresses and other things in the current database are accurate, Gabriel Pareles of the bureau tells Hair Balls. Doing that pays $12 to $16 an hour.

The bureau's job outreach began about a month ago, and the office has been "bombarded with calls," he says, but there are still some specific areas and groups that are needed: Hispanics, Asian-Americans, folks from Sharpstown, Sunnyside, McGregor Terrace and Westbury, for example.

The outer counties of the general Houston area also have slots begging.

"We want to send someone from your community to do the work in your community, not someone from DC or Dallas," he says.

The gigs are temporary -- for eight to 10 weeks -- and you can work anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week, with somewhat flexible hours.

And there's another benefit, Pareles says: "This is just Phase 1 of what will probably be five or six phases. If you get in the system now, you'll automatically be called and be at the top of the line for later jobs."

Plus, you get to mess with census data to help whatever population you want to see get a leg up in redistricting. Probably not, but you never know.

-- Richard Connelly

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