Washington – In a sea of terrible job news, the White House today announced projections of growth in the field of counting newly unemployed and poor Americans for the U.S. Census Bureau and other organizations of its kind. In a somewhat related announcement, the White House said it had also seen slight job growth in the area of double-checking tax returns for incoming members of the Obama administration.
“What we’re seeing is unexpectedly strong growth in this area, the area of counting Americans who are now unemployed and/or poor,” said Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, at an afternoon press briefing announcing the findings. “We’re looking at an addition of roughly 120 jobs in this quarter alone. And that number is likely to rise, as the number of unemployed and poor Americans rises, which it seems to do every day – almost every hour. So we forecast growth in this area for the foreseeable future, as the growth in other areas completely stops, and in most cases, reverses itself. Which then is more great news for job-seekers in this field.”
Jim Tewksberry, a career counselor at Reinholt University in Massachusetts, said he has been telling his students for some time about the many job opportunities in the field of counting the destitute and downtrodden. “It’s a field that grows almost exponentially each quarter, and certainly won’t be getting smaller anytime soon,” he said. “Plus, it’s interesting work, because you actually go and interact with the poor, ruined individuals who may have just lost their job, their house, their life savings. You get to ask them questions, face to face, as they are at a point where they’re the most miserable they’ll ever be in their lives. So the interaction you find yourself a part of is–it’s very unpredictable. It can be exciting. It can also be life-threatening, which is why you’re given a firearm.”
Anthony Jennings, a 28-year-old delivery driver who was laid off last week, began working for the Census Bureau Monday. He said the job opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. “I had just gotten laid off,” he said, “and I was headed down to the liquor store, to use the last little bit of money I had left to buy something that would get me really, really drunk. But there was this guy out front, with all these papers in his hand. He said, ‘Hey, listen. I work for the Census, and I have to count all the poor and unemployed people in this neighborhood. But there are too may. Would you help me out?’ And I said, ‘Yeah. I was gonna get drunk, but I’ll help you out. I can get drunk tomorrow.'” At the end of the shift, Anthony was told he did a good job and the Bureau would be in touch. The next day, he was given a permanent assignment.
Or as permanent as any job can be in these uncertain times. As Tewksberry tells the students who end up deciding to pursue a job in the field, “It is government work, and it is a solid job. But that doesn’t mean it won’t go away tomorrow, like almost every other job in the country. So just be careful, follow the rules, and do your job well. Otherwise, you’ll be checking off your own name on your little piece of survey paper, and you’ll have to ask yourself questions about being newly unemployed. And that could be very confusing.”