DECATUR — The march toward the 2020 U.S. Census is on, and cities across the country are hiring workers to help ensure an accurate count of residents.
More than 100 people have already applied with the City of Decatur for positions to help count Macon County's residents, but plenty of jobs are still available, said Tim Dudley, the city’s economic development coordinator.
The population count, which takes place once every decade, determines how billions of federal funding dollars are divided and how many U.S. House seats each state gets. Preliminary data suggests population declines in Illinois and locally, with Macon County's 2018 estimate of 105,801 residents, compared to 110,768 in the last official count in 2010. Officials have said Decatur has more than 70,000 residents, having lost nearly 5,000 over the past five years.
County and city leaders are collaborating on steps to ensure an accurate count.
Laurie Bishop, a resident who attended a census hiring event at the Decatur Civic Center on Friday, said the job would have a large financial impact on her life.
“I am in between jobs at the moment and this could make a world of difference,” Bishop said.
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What does the job entail?
Census takers are responsible for counting the number of residents in specific neighborhoods. Dudley said employees would be able to choose the areas where they work.
Requirements include U.S. citizenship and being at least 18 years old. No degree is required.
What are the hours/pay like?
Dudley said hours are flexible and employees can decide whether they would like to work part- or full-time. Census takers can work up to 40 hours per week at $20 an hour. Census work does not affect government benefits such as SNAP, TANF or Medicaid. The job would last roughly 6 months.
How do I apply?
City officials hosted a hiring event Friday at the Decatur Civic Center. The same event could be held again at the Decatur Public Library in the near future but in the meantime, those interested in applying can do so online. For more information about the position, contact Tim Dudley at 217-450-2337.
Contact Analisa Trofimuk at (217) 421-7985. Follow her on Twitter: @AnalisaTro