Hundreds of Census workers trained, paid ... and laid off

If today’s employment report showed some mixed results, thanks to a temporary boost in Census Bureau workers for the decennial survey, then the news out of Northern Virginia may spell a disappointing April.  Yesterday, hundreds of Census workers hired to go door-to-door in group home settings like dorms and prisons got pink slips after getting paid for three days of training.  It turned “Census Day” into a particularly ironic April Fool’s joke:


April 1 was Census Day – a day marked by events to remind people to return their census questionnaires. But some Census workers were abruptly dismissed from their part-time jobs on Census Day with no explanation.

In Northern Virginia, hundreds of Census workers were told on Thursday to turn in all materials, including partially completed enumeration assignments, because the Group Quarters Enumeration project was being canceled.

“What about enumerating the dorms, jails, nursing homes, etc., that we were supposed to do?” asked one frustrated Census enumerator who was among those laid off Thursday.

Good question.  A better question might be why the Census Bureau didn’t know what it needed before hiring workers.  Instead of making an efficient use of time and money, they wound up wasting both, including time that these workers could have been looking for other jobs.

How much got wasted?  They got $20 an hour each and 50 cents a mile to attend training.  CNS News doesn’t give an exact figure, but we’ll calculate the cost of a single worker and extrapolate.  Assume each person spent eight hours a day in training and lived an average of 10 miles from the training center.  That would mean a cash cost of $170 per day per employee.  Each hundred people would have cost the Census Bureau $17,000 per day, or $51,000 for the three-day period, just in outbound cash, which excludes the administrative costs of human resources and the training that got wasted at the same time.  Since CNS News says “hundreds,” we can assume that the cost ran over $100,000 for a project that ended up producing absolutely nothing except wasted effort.


At least the figure here stays in the hundreds.  Sallie Mae, the GSE that handles the student-loan program that ObamaCare gutted, announced earlier this week that they’ll have to lay off 2,500 people as a result of the legislation:

Powerhouse student loan provider Sallie Mae says layoffs are imminent as a result of President Obama’s new student loan overhaul.

“This legislation will force Sallie Mae to reduce our 8,600-person workforce by 2,500,” Conwey Casillas, Vice President of Sallie Mae Public Affairs, said in a statement to Fox News. …

“The student loan provisions buried in the health care legislation intentionally eliminate valuable default prevention services and private sector jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them,” Casillas told Fox News.

Yes, but we’re hiring Census workers!  At least for a few days at a time.

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