Friday, June 4, 2010

Census Worker Horror Stories and the May Jobs Report

The May jobs report is being touted as good news by the government just like the "good news" that was reported in the April and March jobs report. Haven't found a job yet? Well, it's probably because 411,000 of the 431,000 jobs created in May were temporary Census jobs with little improvement in private-sector employment. So without the crappy Census jobs, only 20,000 jobs were created last month for the millions of unemployed and underemployed looking for a job. The decrease in the unemployment rate was because of a decline in the participation rate. This is not good.

And if you've found a Census job, there is still a chance that you will find yourself without a job within several weeks of being hired to inflate the job numbers. Yes, I know it is FOX News, but listen to one whistleblower claim the Census Bureau is using temporary layoffs to pump up employment numbers. “What they do is hire you, they train you like a few weeks — 35, 40 hours of training and give you six hours of productive work and lay you off.”

The New York Post also published other census worker horror stories that backed up Maria's claims:

* I was hired four times by the Census Bureau: spring 2009 for address canvassing; fall 2009 for general quarters verification; late winter 2010 as a quality assurance clerk; and, spring 2010 [as an] enumerator non-response follow-up. I've just been laid off. In each case I spent more time training and going to meetings than actually working. Please don't use my name, I still may be called back.

* I was hired four times, counting last year and this. There's lots of waste and poor management. I've wondered about the handheld computer (used by door-to-door workers.) I've no idea how many of these were purchased. They were only used last year in one effort and my understanding is there were a lot of problems.

* I'm in south Orange County in Southern California and I'm going door-to-door to people the Census says have not turned in their form. At least 60 percent of the people I speak to swear they've turned it in. We are supposed to visit a residence three times. (If we can't contact anyone) we are supposed to try up to three proxies (neighbors or other people) to get information on a particular resident. So basically your neighbor can report how many people live in your home.

* Everything you reported is absolutely true. I was fired three times and rehired. I earned more going to training classes than (working). Several classmates didn't get any work after completing training.

* I was hired by the Census on March 16 and my last day was April 19 at the bilingual question answering center in Rome, Ga. We had two days of training, of which one was just to get hired officially as a federal employee. I had a total of two people come by my location and ask a question -- costing taxpayers $250 per question.

* I am a Census worker. I, too, can confirm that they are checking and checking. I checked homes that have already been checked by the "enumerators." The next phase is to go and re-check the checks that we already did twice..

* It's not much better in Florida. Our first day of training was a total joke. The supposed crew leader knew nothing. She didn't even open the manual to prep herself. We spent four hours signing six pieces of paper, one of which we signed on the day of the initial test ing. The nightmare didn't end when we got to the field. No work was available so we would sit in a meeting waiting for work for hours, which went on our timesheet.

* I have personally experienced the very same thing (in Missouri)) and have said from the beginning that this is strictly political and for jobs numbers. It is a waste of our tax monies. Our area appears to be very disorganized. However, I believe that it is intentional. Just another way to increase outlays and jobs.

I'm not wasting another year of my life waiting for the employment situation to improve. My pessimism about the future seems to have rubbed off several of my friends who are unemployed or hate their slave wage jobs and they are looking into the few good opportunities abroad that are left. If you're thinking about it, do it fast before more unemployed graduates with student debt jump on the bandwagon and those jobs become nonexistent as well.


  1. As a clarification, the private sector jobs creation number was more than 20k.

    There were 411k Census jobs created, and only 431k total jobs created. However, total govt jobs created was less than 411k because some govt workers were laid off last month (teachers and such). My understanding is that private sector creation was closer to 50k (from ADP payroll figures).

    Still, 50k is a weak number. Positive, but weak. Clinging on life support.

  2. Quick correction, sorry!

    This says private sector was 41k.

    Local and state govt lost 21k as an offset to the 411k created by census for the govt sector

    Have a fun weekend everyone. Summer's here!

  3. Hey, if law schools can get away with it...

  4. Every organization out there cooks the books...first among them the federal government, the Book-Cookers in Chief.

  5. As if the report being from CNN or MSNBC would make it any more credible.

  6. The only people that don't cook the books are the average honest citizens who are just good little employees. They always get hit the hardest. I think the system expects everyone to cheat so it punishes the honest.

    But of course now even getting employed is hard enough, so it's not like cheating on your taxes is something people are thinking about or really in a position to consider.

  7. This is a little off topic, but still funny and sad at the same time. I have a friend who is a crim def. lawyer; he is hiring an associate. He interviewed several people who graduated in 2009, but who had not passed the bar. He told one of the applicants that the job would pay b/w 35K - 45K, and the applicant left indignant saying that he would not see himself short (even though he has been unemployed for a year).

    He made another offer to someone saying, "the offer is for 35" not 35 thousand, he just said 35 even though he meant 35 thousand. the lady took the job and called back later to confirm that he meant 35K and not 3500. can you believe that someone might actually think the full time employment offer was for 3500? i guess if you've been working for free for a year even that is an improvement.

  8. @9:47 - Gen Y is clueless. The guy who would not sell himself short's market value drops by the day. He might be worth 27K per year by the end of the month. High education has never meant high salary or easy jobs.

  9. Surprise, surprise - the government lies. If you want real economic statistics, I suggest The real unemployment rate is over 20%, not the laughable figure of 9.7%.

    That site shows how the US government has fudged its stats over the years. All governments lie, but the US government is currently one of the worst offenders. And unlike other lie factories (governments), the US gov't has a media more than willing to spread the lies.

    Almost all of the mainstream pundits accept the government numbers as gospel. It's all BS.

  10. Speaking of cover-ups:

  11. I am not some right wing Fox viewer, and I was unemployed for 10 months of 2008. But I really feel that you guys need to stop whining and try to figure something out. Things are not perfect here. Yes, politicians lie, yes our level of education and healthcare have fallen dramatically from their peaks. I submitt however that this was mostly due to the fact that the boomers enharited the highest standard of living on earth, and took it for granted... We of Gen Y or whatever the hell tag you want to put on us should not fall into the same lazy traps our parents did. We should look to our grandparents generation. They fought two of the most terrible wars ever concieved at the same time, AFTETR having gone through a decade of 30-40% unemployment...THAT is bad.

    Stop whining start innovating, support the reform of our healthcare system (which I realize is itself far from perfect). Identify a need not being met and develop a business. If you have a JD you are of the top percentage of education in the world, use it... We need people who will help us soar past the place we are currently in, not sitting around and bitching.... If you want to run to another country when the going gets a little tough here, then you are a bit cowardly, maybe smart but coradley none the less... I am of a liberal mind but all one has to do is look at Greece and the Eurozone to see that people do need to take care of themselves... We can collectivly help each other in many cases, but its dog eat dog men and women, lets get real!



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