President Donald Trump (man, that’s still hard to type) enacted a federal hiring freeze as one of his first acts after taking office. We’ve looked at the jobs that are currently sitting vacant at NASA, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. And today we’ve got the list for the US Census Bureau.
Gizmodo has filed over a dozen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with various federal agencies to get a snapshot of the jobs that have been put on hold. So far, the list has included sign language interpreters at NGA and aerospace engineers at NASA. And as we’ve said, it’s really hard to get to Mars without aerospace engineers. But what about the Census Bureau?
Now, you might be thinking that the Census Bureau is a boring place for math nerds. And you would be correct. But that boring place for math nerds is vital to a functioning democracy. How so? The Census Bureau’s tally of the US population every 10 years determines where federal dollars are spent. An inaccurate count means that some communities (the most vulnerable, naturally) will be underserved financially.
With the 2020 Census just around the corner, having a healthy Census Bureau is crucial in order for the US to have a health democracy—a democracy that seems under threat now more than ever.
“I am increasingly worried about a higher undercount in many communities,” Terri Ann Lowenthal, the former co-director of the Census Project, told Politco this weekend in reference to Trump’s approach to immigrant communities. “We could be headed for a train wreck if the Census Bureau doesn’t get the resources it needs.”
There are currently 157 jobs that the US Census Bureau is unable to fill because of Trump’s federal hiring freeze. That number is expected to grow as the freeze continues. The list includes everything from statisticians needed in Denver to survey specialists needed in Philadelphia to recruiters needed in Atlanta.
You can look at the entire list on Scribd and embedded below. And we’ll keep you posted as more of our FOIA requests are fulfilled for other agencies.