PROVIDENCE, RI – With the 2020 Census fast approaching, the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire a few thousand Rhode Islanders to help, and U.S. Senator Jack Reed is encouraging Rhode Islanders to apply for census jobs to help ensure completion of a full, fair, and accurate census, and help reach hard-to-count community members.

The 2020 U.S. Census is a constitutionally mandated undertaking that is vitally important to accurately determine representation in government, as well as how federal funds are spent on things like roads, schools, and public safety. 

The 2020 census officially kicks off in just eleven days: on January 21, in Toksook Bay, Alaska - more than two months before Census Day (April 1), the date by which the Census Bureau plans to reach out to every U.S. household.  This small Alaska community gets first in the nation status for the national head count because local census takers must get a head start while the frozen ground allows easier access to the remote areas with unique accessibility challenges.

Today, Senator Reed announced that the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting Rhode Islanders to work in a variety of part-time roles throughout the state to help perform the 2020 Census.  These short-term jobs offer hourly wages starting at $25 per hour, flexible work hours, and paid training.  Census takers work directly in their own communities.

“Working part-time for the 2020 Census is a great way to earn some extra income while serving your community and the nation,” said Senator Reed.  “I encourage interested Rhode Islanders, especially those who are bilingual, to apply for these positions.  The Census plays an important role in our state, our government, and in ensuring that everyone is counted.”

Every 10 years, the Census Bureau takes a snapshot of our population, determining how many people reside within the nation’s borders, who they are, and where they live.  The results help determine representation in the federal government, as well as how federal funds are spent in local communities on critical projects and issues like roads, parks, housing, schools, and public safety.

To qualify, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number and a valid email address; complete an application; and answer assessment questions.  In order to be hired, applicants must also pass a Census-performed criminal background check and a review of criminal records, including fingerprinting.

The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring for several different positions to help conduct the 2020 Census, ranging from: census takers, census field supervisors, clerks, and office operations supervisors.  The largest number of openings are for census takers, who are responsible for going door-to-door to gather information from people who failed to answer U.S. Census surveys online or mailed to their homes.

Rhode Islanders interested in applying for a position with the Census Bureau, may apply at: or call or call 855-JOB-2020 and select option 3 for more information.

Veterans who were honorably discharged may be eligible for a veterans’ hiring preference.  Additionally, bilingual applicants are needed and are encouraged to apply.

Last month, Senator Reed joined his colleagues in passing a bipartisan resolution highlighting the importance of the 2020 Census. The resolution encourages individuals, families, and households across the United States to take part in the Census so that all communities can be counted. The resolution also recognizes the importance and significance of the 2020 Census, the role libraries play in facilitating the census, and encourages all people to participate. It concludes that it is the civic duty of every person to ensure that the 2020 Census is as accurate as possible.  The resolution unanimously passed the U.S. Senate on December 18, 2019.