Meet Susan Williams. A year and a half ago, she was an associate at a small firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in food and drug law. She was laid off in November of 2008 and after more than four months of searching, was still jobless.
So Williams, now 30, started working for the Census bureau, according to The Washington Post. For sixteen weeks, she canvassed dormitories, shelters, and supervised other canvassers for $21.50 an hour. She now works in technology operations for the census office.
WP: The Census Bureau expects to hire at least 700,000 people throughout the spring and summer for part-time jobs, paying $10 to $25 an hour, mostly to knock on the doors of people who don’t send in forms that will arrive in mailboxes this month. Many of the expected 3 million to 4 million applicants will be like Williams: highly educated and in the prime of their working life but sidelined by a recession that has driven the unemployment rate to almost 10 per cent.
That better-than-nothing refrain is starting to sound awfully old, and this census, the government is beneficiary. Swapping a $100,000+ salary for a $41,000 annual (pretax) paycheck is quite a downgrade for those needing to pay off student loans.
Last census the government shelled out $9.5 million in marketing costs to try to recruit employees. This time around, there is competition to join the ranks.
Of course, those were the glory days of 2000 when unemployment was 4% and the dot com bubble had yet to burst.
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