Census seeks more applicants to conduct 2020 count in Iowa

DES MOINES — The U.S. Census Bureau says Iowa is one of the states where the agency is having an especially difficult time finding temporary workers.

The Census is hiring for office jobs in Des Moines as well as field workers who will go door to door statewide starting in May. The goal for the agency is to collect more than 21,000 applications for the part time jobs — but Marilyn Sanders, a regional director for the Census, said so far only about half that number have applied.

“Right now we’re looking for approximately about 10,000 more applicants to complete the recruiting for the state of Iowa,” said Sanders, who met with Iowa’s “Complete Count Committee” last week.

Iowa’s low unemployment rate is a factor and the Census Bureau recently raised the hourly wage in the Des Moines area in hopes of attracting more applicants. Sanders said having local workers improves the response rate in the state

“The opportunity to help us to get us a complete count is when we have people that represent the community knocking on the doors,” Sanders said.

The Census determines how many seats in the House of Representatives go to each state. Some $675 billion in federal funding each year is distributed based on the population count.