WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Census Workers Needed

Dec 9, 2019

The federal government is looking to sign up more people in McDonough County to help conduct next year's census. Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said only about 30% of the positions have been filled. 

Inman said the pay is $17.50 per hour. He said mileage will be paid for workers who use their own vehicle for the job. And there is another reason why some people might find the temporary positions appealing.

"For those folks that are getting supplemental income from either SNAP or TANF or some other state or federal aid, this income will not affect those aid components to those individuals," he said.

Inman said training will start early next year and some positions could continue into early summer.

He said information about census jobs can be found on the 2020 Census website.

Inman said it is "absolutely essential" to get a complete count. Others echo that sentiment.

Anita Banerji, who is with the non-profit civic engagement group Forefront Illinois, said the state is at risk of losing two congressional seats.

She said central and southern Illinois appear most vulnerable, and there are unique challenges to getting an accurate count in rural areas.

"It's the lack of access to technology. It's the distrust in government. It's the lack of awareness, lack of connectivity to community resources," Banerji said.

Residents can expect a letter directing them to fill out census forms online in mid-March.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio's Mary Hansen for her contributions to this story.