March 11th, 2009
11:30 AM ET
6 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.

Full story


Filed under: Census • economic stimulus
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Hawaii gal

    Where I do sign up? I actually did see an advertisement for census jobs, and they do pay pretty well, from $15 – $23 per hour. That could help a lot of unemployed workers, even if it is only temporary.

    March 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Lisa B

    This is a great, big country and census has and always will be the best way to track populations, trends, etc. that gives everyone a picture of what the country "looks like" and details of many aspects of life in America that helpe steer the policies and meet the needs of people. I think it is perfect timing to put people to work making a decent salary. If I were unemployed I sure would be glad to get one of those jobs. Geez. Is there anything President Obama does that doesn't send the right wingers off their rockers?

    March 11, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. lynn

    Realist

    $8.00 or $9.00 an hour is better than nothing at all. Especially when you are hungry.

    March 11, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Jackie in Dallas

    Really, guys, the Census is something that happens every ten years. Both parties have been known to juggle the numbers to gerrymander districts that favor their party. [Go look up gerrymander on Wikipedia...makes for interesting reading.]

    Regular People, I sympathize with you, wholeheartedly. However, don't forget that slaves were not counted at all until 1850, and women were considered only as adjunct household members until that same year. Specifics on the sexual makeup of the household does not affect whether you are counted or not. According to Wikipedia the census counts:
    "actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors, and illegal immigrants. In recent censuses, estimates of uncounted housed, homeless, and migratory persons have been added to the directly reported figures." Religion, race, sexual orientation, and other data do NOT affect the overall numbers, although that information is collected. It is, however, not available for public use for 72 years...!

    March 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Scott, Tucson

    I have not participated in a census in my 55 years and have no plans to start now.

    March 11, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Noah

    This is a complete political move. Government does not provide jobs, it provides work. Once the census 2010 has been completed these people will once again find themselves unemployed. It is a temporary fix and a way to say that this administration has created 1.4 million jobs. Baloney

    March 11, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    How can it cost more than $40 PER PERSON to count us? Why not pay $25 PER PERSON to turn in their own forms, blow $10 PER PERSON on more pork – and still save a couple billion dollars.

    March 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Jackie in Dallas

    By the way, David...the person for whom gerrymandering was named was a member of the Democratic-Republican party, which later became the Republican party. It has been done equally by both parties, and in the last 10 years, has more often aided the Republicans, not the Democrats.

    Don't let your party affliation blind you to reality. It is easy to blame the party you are not in for everything, but it is almost always NOT true. As an Independent moderate voter, I view both major parties with skepticism, because I see equal jockeying for power, position and the spotlight, equal misuse of power, and equal stupidity on both sides of the aisle!

    March 11, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Steve

    It takes 1.4 million people to count the 250 million of us here? That means each of these people count 250? Shouldn't that take about a day for each worker?

    March 11, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. David S.

    Classic New Deal make work program at the taxpayer expense. And with the White House runinng the show, we'll see a much different landscape custom designed to gerrymander the Democrats into power for the foreseeable future. Wake Up America, its being taken away from you right in front of your eyes!

    March 11, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. BURNS

    LAST I HEARD,NOBODY HAS BEEN HIRED. IF THE 1 MIL JOBS ARE
    FOR CENSUS TAKERS---SOUNDS LIKE A PUT UP JOB TO MAKE
    THE STIM. SEEMS TO BE WORKING. EVEN IF BUSINESS WERE TO
    RECIEVE ANY OF IT,THEY WOULD'NT HIRE UNTILL THERE WAS A
    DEMAND FOR THEIR PRODUCTS AND FIRST SELL WHAT STOCK
    PILES THEY ALREADY HAVE.

    NAM VET NH

    March 11, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. RealityKing

    Census 2010 is going to look a lot like the election registration under this administration's leadership. Except that Mickey, Donald, Santa and his eight reindeer really will be counted 100 time each..., as minorities of course.

    March 11, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. adam

    Not sure what the fuss is about among those whose comments I have read. The census is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

    March 11, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Ken

    I think it is time to find another way of counting the people. One also to much sure that they DO NOT count the 12 to 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS that have NO BUSINESS being here!

    I am really getting mad about how this administration is spending all of this money and putting us deeper in debt.

    It is time that if a business cannot operate in the black, then they deserve to close their doors! It should not be that the American taxpayers end up having to pay for it to stay afloat!

    March 11, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Ken

    I think it is time to find another way of counting the people. One also to much sure that they DO NOT count the 12 to 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS that have NO BUSINESS being here!

    I am really getting mad about how this administration is spending all of this money and putting us deeper in debt.

    It is time that if a business cannot operate in the black, then they deserve to close their doors! It should not be that the American taxpayers end up having to pay for it to stay afloat!

    March 11, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Ken

    I think it is time to find another way of counting the people. One also to much sure that they DO NOT count the 12 to 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS that have NO BUSINESS being here!

    I am really getting mad about how this administration is spending all of this money and putting us deeper in debt.

    It is time that if a business cannot operate in the black, then they deserve to close their doors! It should not be that the American taxpayers end up having to pay for it to stay afloat!

    March 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. cnnnewser

    Just a note to CNN – we're going to keep you honest, so, wise up on your reporting skills and stop with the hysterics.
    You're losing your credibility.

    March 11, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Carl

    Congrats to CNN. My local news media talked about this story about 6 months ago.

    March 11, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Erik

    Postponing the Census without a Constitutional amendment would be an impeachable offense. Any politician who attempted to do so without one would be violating their oath of office. So yea, it is "really, really" necessary.

    March 11, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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