Make sure you get counted.

It’s just two months until 2020, which means the decennial U.S. Census will be taking place. The federal government is ramping up in preparation for the once-a-decade count of everyone in the United States.

You probably won’t get a Census form (or an online link to a form) until March, but the Census Bureau is already in the process of hiring workers nationwide to help ensure an accurate and complete count. Census reps, for example, will be at the Kendallville Public Library branches this week trying to hire workers.

Stories have already rolled in that, like many employers, the Census Bureau is having a hard time finding workers for a part-time gig that pays $14 per hour.

Those workers are typically hired as canvassers, people who go knock on doors to try to collect information from homes that haven’t submitted a Census response. That’s a labor-intensive and time-consuming job, as they try to catch people at home and collect at least basic count information.

The Census is crucial, because the count helps determine things like federal funding and political representation at all levels of government from city council districts up to U.S. representatives.

For us as journalists, fresh Census data is also extremely valuable, providing information on topics ranging from population trends, to local incomes, to average rent costs, to changing age demographics. That data helps us provide context back to you, to explain local, state and national demographics and issues in your community.

The simplest thing you can do? Fill out your Census form. By responding on your own, you save the bureau time, effort and money. It does take time to complete, but it’s time well spent and a duty of being a resident of the U.S.

So, as 2020 rolls in, make sure you do your part to get counted.

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