Laid-Off Temporary Census Workers Account for 43.6 Percent of Increase in Unemployed Americans

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 3, 2010 | 11:19 AM EDT

President Barack Obama delivers a prime-time televised address from the Oval Office marking the the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

( - Laid-off temporary federal workers, who were brought on to the government payroll by the U.S. Census Bureau to help conduct the 2010 Census, accounted for 43.6 percent of the increase in unemployed people in the United States last month, as the national unemployment rate increased from 9.5 percent in July to 9.6 percent in August.
From July to August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall number of unemployed people in the United States increased by 261,000 from 14,599,000 to 14,860,000.
The fact that laid-off temporary Census workers accounted for 114,000 of those 261,000 newly unemployed Americans may not bode well for the coming months as the Census Bureau still has 82,000 temporary workers on its payroll who will eventually need to be laid-off when the work of the 2010 Census is completed.
“Over the month, government employment fell by 121,000, largely reflecting the loss of 114,000 temporary workers hired for Census 2010,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. “The number of temporary Census 2010 workers peaked in May at 564,000 but has declined to 82,000 in August.”
When President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, the national unemployment rate was 7.7 percent.  When Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill in February 2009, the national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent. It has never been that low again.