The Census Bureau is hiring

Lawton_Do you want to earn money while serving the community?  The U.S. Census Bureau hopes you say yes.  It is recruiting thousands of temporary workers throughout the state to help with the 2010 census.  It has offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and a recruitment office will open on Friday, January 23, at Lawton's Central Mall.  A bureau office with administration positions available also will open in Lawton later this year.

The available jobs are ideal for retirees, college students, full-time workers who want additional income, or those wishing to become more involved with their community.  Billions of federal dollars are allocated according to states' populations, so population count is critical says an official at the Oklahoma City Census Office.  "The census is so critical in what it provides for the state," said Otto.  "It does everything from funding roads to determining electoral seats."

The Census Bureau needs folks to work for as little as 20 hours per week, and pay scale will be from $10-$17 per hour.  It needs census takers to go through neighborhoods to count populations, clerks to input data, field supervisors, and administrators.  While it's pretty bare Thursday as it readies to open, the recruitment office goal is to fill it up and keep it busy with a lot more people involved in the southwest Oklahoma area.  "We're looking to hire 1,900 people," said Census Bureau Recruiter Shari Otto.  "Needless to say, there's a lot that goes into the census, so we are going to be hiring ongoing from now through 2010."

Some jobs only will require a five-to-ten week commitment, and census day isn't until April 1, 2010.  There is a lot of preparatory work that needs to be done, despite the fact that the census forms will require much less work than in the past.  "This year - for the first time - the census is only seven questions long," said Otto.  "So, they've really made an effort to make it easy, fast, and something people will follow through on."

State population determines how many congressmen a state can have.  Oklahoma has had six congressmen from 1953-2003, but lost one after the 2000 census.  In the 1930s, Oklahoma had nine.  "You're definitely doing a service to your own community and your state by collecting data for the census," Otto said.

The Central Mall recruitment office will have testing for census jobs all weekend, and on Friday and Saturday will have sessions beginning at 11AM, 2PM, and 5PM.  On Sunday, there will be tests at 12:30PM and 3:30PM.  The bureau hopes to test 100 people at a time, but recommend calling 405-254-9140 to reserve a seat.  Phones are answered until 4:30PM, and walk-ins also are welcome.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old, and provide two forms of ID.

For more information about census jobs, or more information about the census itself, visit