I know there are several of our members who have recently become temporarily unemployed due to the economy, and I have a possible interim solution for you.
This is the website that gives information about becoming a Federal employee for the census. I took the test in December, and I'm now working for the census. The money isn't bad, and those of us who are in the field also get $.55 per mile for use of our personal vehicles.
The down side is that each employment period is temporary--60 days--and at the end of that 60 days, you may or may not be rehired for another 60-day period. However, from what I've heard my own crew leader say, the ability to stay on the payroll and "milk" this through 2010 is pretty good, as people will sometimes get tired and leave. Also, for those of us (like me) who are limited to a maximum outside income (in addition to Social Security), it's perfect, because we can keep track of the total income and stop working when we are at or near the maximum.
The pay range here in the Albuquerque area is from $9.00 to $15.50 per hour, and you can choose either part time or full time work.
Believe it or not, this entire process is starting now, with neighborhood mapping, GPS map spotting, etc., getting ready for the official forms to be mailed out for April 1, 2010 "census day." I'm finishing up my training and will be in the field doing address canvassing by Friday morning.
I know that the bureau is still hiring, so check out the site and see if this is a viable alternative.