SAD: The U.S. Census Can't Find Enough Skilled Americans To Fill Its Jobs

help wanted 2

People like to bash the U.S. Census this year for doling out stimulus-style ‘make-work’ jobs that don’t amount to much.

But even these give away jobs aren’t being filled despite armies of unemployed Americans.

The reason?

There aren’t enough people with sufficient skills:


In Texas, the Census is still looking for 25,000 applicants from so-called hard-to-count communities—population groups that have low participation rates in the Census due to language or cultural barriers and educational gaps, among other factors. In cities near the Mexico border such as McAllen and La Feria, hundreds of positions remain unfilled, Mr. Salinas said.

Other Census offices around the U.S. are experiencing similar difficulties recruiting workers from hard-to-count communities. In certain parts of Hartford, Conn., for example, the bureau is at 40% of its recruitment goals because it hasn’t found enough workers who speak Russian, Korean and Urdu.

But recruiting Latinos is hard for some of the same reasons they are difficult to count, recruiters say. Census workers must be proficient in English, pass a test to prove their maths and map-reading skills, and preferably be U.S. citizens. (The bureau hires legal residents as a last resort if no citizens from a particular area are available.)

So what constitutes a job-seeking edge these days? Understanding a second language, counting, and frequenting Google Maps. Sounds like the skills many third-worlders have, perhaps they should outsource.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.