Monday, March 23, 2009

Postal Service Reducing Workforce, Offices as Mail Volume Falls

The U.S. Postal Service will offer early retirement to about 150,000 workers and eliminate more than 3,000 jobs as the volume of mail declines.

Stamped mail is down to 1964 levels, officials said, contributing to a deficit that reached $2.8 billion in 2008 and is likely to be larger this year.

About 150,000 of the service’s 646,000 workers will be offered early retirement. The agency also is closing six district offices that together have “a little over 500” positions.

Postmaster General John Potter in January told Congress that the Postal Service has been harmed be a “steady erosion” of profitable first-class mail. On Feb. 4 the service reported a first-quarter loss of $384 million on the eighth consecutive quarter of lower mail volume.

Beginning May 11, the price of a first-class stamp is to rise to 44 cents from 42 cents, the Postal Service said Feb 10.

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