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Senators Urge Census to Hire Unemployed

A handful of Democratic Senators made the case Wednesday for the Census Bureau to hire the unemployed to fill more than 1 million temporary positions for next year’s national head count. In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) said the 2010 Census “presents an interesting opportunity to help a significant number of the long-term unemployed— who face the threat of losing their unemployment benefits. “Given that the reported 1.4 million in new temporary Census jobs people represents 17 percent of workers currently unemployed, we are writing to you to urge you to target the long-term unemployed for filling these positions in the coming months,— the letter states. The Census Bureau began hiring last week, but because of the high level of interest in the temporary positions, it canceled a national campaign promoting the available positions in data processing and canvassing. The lawmakers Wednesday urged the Census Bureau and Labor Department to instead “establish an increased presence at unemployment centers— to hire those with the most need. “The long-term unemployed are in the most need of jobs and assistance over the coming weeks, as benefits for many of them will be running out on December 31,— the lawmakers said in the letter. “We urge you to do whatever you can to ensure that these workers are targeted by the Census Bureau’s recruitment effort in the coming weeks.—

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