Census hiring expected to reach peak in next several months

Hiring is just getting cranked up for the 2010 Census with the agency expecting to hire about 1 million temporary workers to help with the once-a-decade headcount of Americans. 

This year's Census also could require extended hours from more workers because of the number of houses vacated during the foreclosure crisis, according to the Census Bureau. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning announced the addition of 162,000 jobs to company payrolls, 48,000 of those for the Census, a small fraction of what's expected in coming months. 

If historical data are any indication, hiring should explode by more than five times this spring. In March 1990, the Census hired 53,000, in April 85,000 and in May 182,000. In March 2000, 95,000 were added, 28,000 in April and, the largest month-to-month increase, 348,000 in May. 

In both years, the agency began shedding jobs in June, including 225,00 in June 2000. But based on workload this year could provide slightly longer employment for those workers.