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The Impact of 2010 Census Operations on Jobs and Economic Growth

The ramp-up in the 2010 Census operations this spring will markedly affect several economic indicators. Most notably, the hiring of temporary 2010 Census workers will likely increase the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) nonfarm payroll employment estimate by over half a million in May. The 2010 Census hiring may also affect the path of the unemployment rate by several tenths of a percentage point. Finally, the spending associated with the 2010 Census will peak in the second quarter of 2010 and could boost GDP growth in that quarter by about a quarter of a percentage point at an annual rate. There are several reasons why more precise estimates of the effects of the 2010 Census operations cannot be made at this time. One significant reason is that the magnitude and duration of the operations will depend on several factors, including the mail-back response rate.


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