The U.S. Census Bureau started a recruiting push in Little Rock on Thursday to finish hiring enumerators for the upcoming 2020 Census in Arkansas.
The recruiting push kicked off with a hiring event and press conference at the Little Rock Census Office in downtown Little Rock. Prospective workers filled out applications and learned more about the jobs offered.
The Census, held once every ten years, determines how the government distributes billions of dollars in funds over the next decade to each state.
Fort Smith Mayor George McGill serves as chairman of the Arkansas Complete Count Committee. He said an accurate resident count is critical for the state moving forward.
“A 1% undercount could cost the state $1 billion… that’s with a B,” McGill said. “So, it’s critical that we get everyone counted. That’s every baby, every child, and that’s every individual that’s living in the state of Arkansas [and] that resides in the state of Arkansas.”
Census takers can make anywhere from $17 to $23.50 an hour with flexible scheduling available. According to a news release from the US Census Bureau, those interested can apply online at www.2020census.gov.
The event came following a report issued by a congressional watchdog agency which raised concerns about the preparedness of the US Census Bureau as the 2020 Census approaches.
Per the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the report by the Government Accountability Office released on Wednesday stated there were delays in recruiting workers and the potential for missing testing milestones for their technology.
McGill said the state isn’t experiencing the same issues outlined in the report in preparing for the upcoming Census.
“We have a pretty well-oiled machine here in Arkansas,” McGill said. “Again, we’re leading the way in our region as far as getting enumerators, as far as being prepared to get out the information and disseminate information to our communities. So, we’re on pace to do what we need to do to get a good [and] accurate count.”
The Arkansas Complete Count Committee said they have filled 90% of census taker positions in Arkansas. The official Census Day is April 1.