August Employment Report: Temporary Census Hiring will be Significant

In July, the BLS reported “A July job gain in federal government (+27,000) reflected the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census.”

The Census Bureau released an update today on 2020 Census Paid Temporary Workers

As of the July reference week, there were 50,404 decennial Census temporary workers. As of last week, there were 155,239 temp workers.

This is an increase of almost 105,000. This week is the BLS reference week, and it seems likely the number of temporary workers will increase further.

This means the August employment report will show a sharp increase in Federal employment. Since these are temporary, and only happen every ten years with the decennial Census, it makes sense to adjust the headline monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) by Census hiring to determine the underlying employment trend.

The correct adjustment method is to take the headline number and subtract the change in the number of Census 2020 temporary and intermittent workers. For more, see: How to Report the Monthly Employment Number excluding Temporary Census Hiring