Census Bureau submits $1B job creation proposal

Agency received funds through the stimulus measure.

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By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Census Bureau on Friday sent Congress its plan to create jobs with the $1 billion it received under the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus measure.

The agency said its plan is intended to promote participation in the census, which will improve accuracy in the 2010 results.

The census is linked to employment because more than $300 billion in federal funds are distributed every year based on the results of the survey. The money is used to support local services including schools, law enforcement and transportation.

Though not technically a stimulus operation, the upcoming Census 2010 population count will employ 1.4 million people as it prepares to mail forms in March. Once forms are mailed, staffers spend months visiting people who don't have addresses, following up with those who don't mail back their forms and resolving paperwork errors.

The agency expects 50 million households won't respond to the initial mailing. It plans to rent 350 local offices, and it will spend $212 million in advertising to urge people to return their forms.

Census 2010 is the most expensive in the almost 220-year history of the population count, projected to cost $14 billion. The bureau must deliver the population count to the president on Dec. 31, 2010..

The planned investments "will improve our ability to conduct an accurate census and will create thousands of good-paying jobs," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a release. He didn't specify the number of jobs.

"A successful census is critical for ensuring that communities have proper representation and the resources needed," Locke added.

The Census Bureau's proposal includes investing $250 million in "partnership and outreach efforts to minority communities and hard-to-reach populations," the release said.

The remaining $750 million will be used for early 2010 Census operations to reduce operational costs.

Highlights from the plan include the $30 million Coverage Follow-Up program, which creates positions as telephone interviewers who can contact households that may have listed an incorrect number of people living in their homes.

The Partnership Program Enhancement, proposed at $120 million, focuses on hard-to-count communities and will attempt to reduce the number of communities that historically have been undercounted. To top of page

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