March 11th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
5 years ago

Census 2010: A shot in the arm to the economy

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - What do you call a federal program that's pumping billions into the economy and creating more than a million jobs?

Census 2010.

Though its not technically a stimulus operation, the upcoming decennial population count is helping boost the economy by putting 1.4 million people to work. The Census Bureau is also funneling money into local communities by renting office space and furniture and by buying equipment and supplies. And it is spending $212 million in advertising - mainly in 2010 - to urge people to return their forms.

Projected to cost $14 billion, Census 2010 is the most expensive ever in the nearly 220-year history of the population count. The bureau is also getting $1 billion from the federal stimulus package to augment operations, including increasing outreach efforts to minority communities and hard-to-reach groups.

The effort comes at an opportune time. With millions of Americans out of work and countless others suffering from reduced overtime and commissions, people are eager to land a government job, even if it's only for a few weeks.

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Filed under: Census • economic stimulus
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Regular People

    Who the heck cares about a census that won't allow any recognition for same sex couples.

    Oh, right. This is still a country that is trying to pretend that gay folks & their families and children don't exist, and don't have the same social ties and needs as any other family... so they don't count. Sorry, I forgot.

    March 11, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Gary

    In the end, the census will cost us billions of dollars to do. We don't have the money. Do we really, really need to do it. Why don't we put off the census for 5 more years and see if the economy (and the federal budget) improves. To borrow more money to could our people? I don't see the clear benefit.

    March 11, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Gary

    In the end, the census will cost us billions of dollars to do. We don't have that money. Do we really, really need to do it? Why don't we put off the census for 5 more years and see if the economy (and the federal budget) improves. To borrow more money just to count our people? I don't see the clear benefit.

    March 11, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. shoegazer

    I think anyone would welcome the news of finding work for 1.4 million,
    even if it is temporary employment.The overall cost is something of a mystery though,14 billion dollars seems somewhat inflated when considering the purpose of the exercise.

    March 11, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Mel

    Good. Spending money to put people to work is better than blowing it on party's like AIG did.

    March 11, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Some Guy

    Gary, do you have any idea how much research and resulting policy decisions are based on census data? So many industries use it in so many ways that it would blow your mind. Plus it creates a boatload of decent paying jobs.

    March 11, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. RICO

    Gary the census helps local, state, and federal government know where to alocate funds and certian programs.

    March 11, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Realist

    .... putting 1.4 million people to work. Yeah, what do census takers make – $8.00 – $9.00 per hour???

    March 11, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Felicia

    I agree we as AA's need to be counted to the fullest.

    March 11, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Tom in Delaware

    Keep those ACORN people hard at work.

    March 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Really?

    To Regular People,
    If you don't like "this country", why are you still here?

    March 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. jeremy s

    Well, considering many things in the works, the Census 2010 efforts don't seem to be going well.

    This is something that is mandated by the Commerce Dept to handle, which the administration is now taking charge of? (Last time I heard) This is a great conflict of interest but I guess most people don't care.

    We have a stimulus bill that pumps money into it, even though it is part of the budget. Same with the rest of the departments in the government. Many of them are getting stimulus money, yet get money to operate. I understand that most of that money is being filtered out to other things, but quite a bit, billions, goes to specific funds in those departments. If it's to create jobs, is the budget going to continually go up? It's like finding a $20 on the ground and paying your neighbor boy to mow your lawn: can't keep paying him week after week with that same $20. The money has to come from somewhere.

    Same with this "1.4 million jobs" that they say are being created with this stimulus for the Census. After the Census, their jobs can't stay. Which means that we have a 1.4 million job layoff, and didn't fix anything. Unless anyone thinks we can handle $1 trillion injections every year to fund these things long term...no? Neither did I.

    March 11, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Regular People

    Really-
    Get used to it.

    March 11, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. David

    Everyone knows this is another power ploy of the Obama administration to district realignment.

    It's nothing but a Democratic party power grab.

    And there's nothing we can do about it.

    March 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. Comradio

    To, Realist. Census employees make between 11-18 dollars an hour or more if your in a high level position. If your just asking questions its 11, if its somthing skilled it just goes up. I know its not normal for you buy next time why don't you reseach something before you come to an opinion on it.
    To, Really? Regular people's comment is real and honest and YOU are speaking down to whoever it is as well as people in my own family. They don't hate America. You just don't like them. And its solely because of bigotry that you use two or three sentences out of the bible to justify. But here's a hint, you can find a sentence or two in the bible to justify anything. These people are indeed REGULAR PEOPLE. And your a prejudiced bigot who think you own the country and at times it seems, the world. Fundamentalist radical?

    March 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. RICO

    Realist: $8-$9 an hour is better than making nothing, and even if its temporary its work, and the people doing the census know its temporary, but at least it keeps them with a temporary income that is not unemployment, and they can hope that another employment opportunity will come up.

    Tom what does ACORN have to do with this? ACORN is responsible to register voters, CENSUS is to count the population. How are you combining the two?

    March 11, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. Really?

    To Regular People,

    You and your crew don't bother me. Knock yourself out. Isn't this how it is said..."some of my best friends are..."

    I'm just saying. I don't care if you stay or go. My question is....why stay?

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Maggie in NY

    David, Gary and Tom in Delaware, it's in the constitution, but maybe you didn't know that.

    March 11, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Beverly, NYC

    14 Billion to do a headcount, a little excesive. Couldn't we have forms added to say a Federal tax return to answer census questions? If a refund is expected there would be no worry about people not returning them. How about saving a few trees and post form on line with e-filing or something. Let's try something new and save a few bucks along the way.

    March 11, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. J

    We can all bet what the census will say, especially now that it will be under the control of the great O and the Dems. No longer will anything in this country be "

    March 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Just sayin. It has to be done

    FYI: Why we HAVE to have a census

    Article 1 Section 2- The House
    The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

    Article 1 Section 9 – Limits on Congress

    (No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

    If we ignore these than we may also begin to ignore the 2nd amendment or the 1stor the 14th, which other freedoms and protections would any of you sacrifice?

    March 11, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. arithmetic is liberal

    Gary – did you miss the part where this will temporarily create millions of jobs?

    You gotta spend money to make money. Everyone knows that.
    And funny enough, you have to spend significantly less money if it goes to regular people who will recirculate it and turn it into more money.

    March 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. J

    We can all bet what the census will say, especially now that it will be under the control of the great O and the Dems. No longer will anything in this country be "BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE". The people will be only the ones that the administration want it to be, and the rest of us.......we can have our money ' redistributed' the way the government thinks it should be, which is not necessarily going to be the fairest way.

    March 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Seth

    ACORN is doing a stellar job, NOT!!!!.They cheat, steal, and destroy.. its been proven, i have no clue why they are doing the census, if they come to my door i will slam in their face, they dont deserve my respect.

    March 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Mark

    What about the tax payer cost?$$$

    March 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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