The $14.7 Billion Census Count Starts Today

"The census has a very positive effect on the economy," Rebecca Blank, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at Commerce, told ABC News. "The hope, of course, is that this is going to be hitting just as the prime economic growth and employment are picking up, so that it will help that acceleration."

Job Creation

The Census Bureau is hiring about 1.2 million temporary workers this year, with 800,000 of those people coming onboard in April and May.

But watchdogs have already criticized the Bureau's hiring effort. Earlier this year the Commerce Department's inspector general Todd Zinser reported that the Bureau had squandered around $5.6 million by paying over 15,000 employees who never even worked a full day for the government.

When the Bureau sent out over 140,000 workers last fall to update mailing lists and maps, 10,235 of them did not work at all but earned about $3.4 million for attending training and another 5,028 employees raked in $2.2 million but worked less than a single day, Zinser found.

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