2000 CENSUS: Better Productivity Data Needed for Future Planning and Budgeting
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Nonresponse follow-up was the most expensive and labor-intensive of all Census 2000 operations. According to the Bureau of the Census, it cost 1.2 billion about 29 percent of the 4.1 billion spent on decennial activities in fiscal year 2000 and required over 500,000 enumerators to obtain census information from about 42 million nonresponding households in under 10 weeks. Because of this colossal workload, even small variations in productivity can have significant cost implications. For example, if enumerators had needed as little as half a day more to complete their workloads, it would have added over 2 million staff hours and at least 16 million to the cost of the operation, assuming everyone worked at the Bureau s minimum pay rate of about 8.25 per hour.1 Not surprisingly, workload and enumerator productivity have historically been two of the largest drivers of census costs, and the Bureau developed its budget for the 2000 Census using a model that contained key assumptions about these two variables.
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