Considering a Temporary Census Job? Be Sure to Read This

OPM has provided guidance for federal employees who plan to take part-time jobs to help out with the 2020 census.

It’s 2020. That means there’s a census coming this year, and the Census Bureau is hiring temporary employees to help manage the workload.

But are there any special considerations for federal employees who take a part-time job to help out with the census?

The Office of Personnel Management has addressed this in a new guidance memo.

OPM released a memo with information about accepting pay from temporary census work. Here’s what the agency had to say:

  • In accordance with 13 U.S.C. 23(b), the Census Bureau may hire Federal employees upon approval of agency directors, but only for temporary, short-term work on the 2020 Census.
    • Please visit for the list of agencies that currently have dual employment agreements for 2020 Census positions.  This list is found under the FAQ topic, “Special Circumstances for Candidates.” 
  • The statutory prohibition against receiving pay for more than one position found in 5 U.S.C. 5533(d) does not apply within the purview of 13 U.S.C. 23(b).  Therefore, current Federal employees who are hired for the 2020 Census may receive pay for this short-term, temporary work. 

The OPM memo was sent to federal agency leadership, and in fact it was encouraging of federal employees taking these temporary jobs to help out with this year’s census. “We ask that you make your employees aware of this information so that they may take advantage of these short-term employment opportunities,” wrote OPM Director Dale Cabaniss in the memo.

Be sure to check out the full memo for more information, and with your local human resources office and/or supervisor as necessary for guidance on your personal situation.

OPM Guidance on 2020 Census Employment

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.