Photo: U.S. Census Bureau is hiring 500,000 people

Census Raises Wages in Sarasota-Manatee to Find more Temporary Workers

Posted on February 20, 2020 by Brian Ries, Herald-Tribune Media Group
Temporary jobs working on the 2020 Census feature paid training, flexible hours, and weekly paychecks. Plus, it’s good for the community and helps people perform their civic duty.

But locally, not enough people are taking advantage of the opportunity. The Census Bureau has been able to hire only about 55% of the temporary workers it needs in Manatee and DeSoto, with Sarasota performing a little better at 69%. According to local census officials, there is a need for almost 3,000 more applicants across the three counties.

The Census Bureau is raising the hourly wage from $15.50 to $18 in Sarasota and Manatee counties to help encourage people to apply.

“With low unemployment, the Census Bureau is taking extraordinary efforts to attract enough applicants to fill nearly 500,000 positions this spring,” said Associate Director for Field Operations at U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. It produces population and demographic data year-round, but its biggest job is coordinating the constitutionally mandated census every ten years.

More than $675 billion is distributed by the federal government each year based on the data. The count also determines how many representatives each state gets in the U.S. House and impacts everything from emergency services to road construction, disaster relief to economic development.

For the first time, people will be able to fill out the census online, beginning in mid-March. In April, the Census Bureau will mail paper forms to people who haven’t filled out the survey online. Then census takers will visit households that haven’t responded and have them fill out the survey in person.

More census takers mean a more accurate count. And an accurate count results in more money for local communities. A George Washington University report estimates that Florida loses almost $1,000 for every person missed in the census, and a 1% undercount in the 2010 census would have resulted in the state losing nearly $160 million in just Medicaid funding each year.

Applicants for census positions need to be at least 18 years old and can be working other jobs. The selection process is currently ongoing, with paid training occurring in March and April. After training, most positions work between May and early July.

To learn more or apply for one of the temporary jobs, visit

This story comes from Aspirations Journalism, an initiative of The Patterson Foundation and Sarasota Herald-Tribune to inform, inspire, and engage the community. Find more information about the 2020 census at

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.