August Employment Report Will Show an Increase of Several Hundred Thousand Temporary Census Workers

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 week of August 2nd through August 8th, there were 270,468 temp workers.

That was an increase of around 220,000. Last week was the BLS reference week, and it seems likely another 100,000 or more temporary workers were on the payroll last week (to be released next week).

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