E-mail blamed in USPS workforce cuts


The U.S. Postal Service plans to cut its workforce by about 9,000 jobs by 2004 as part of an initiative to save $4 billion over the next four years.

The immense popularity of e-mail and the mailing industry's opposition to raising postage rates were cited as the major reasons behind the downsizing. The agency will eliminate jobs primarily through attrition and hiring freezes. In addition to this recent downsizing, 11,000 other USPS jobs still remain vacant after two years.

"We are barely keeping our heads above water. We are facing declining margins," said Postmaster General William J. Henderson in a recent speech at the National Postal Forum in Nashville. The Postal Service does not receive any tax revenues, and the agency is required by law to break even over the long term.

Henderson estimated that the bulk of the savings over the next four years will be achieved through reducing paperwork and getting "breakthrough" productivity out of the Postal Service's processing system.

"Breakthrough productivity means reducing costs through everything from machine utilization, to standardized processes, to staffing and scheduling, and to resource management," Henderson said.

Business mailers have bristled at proposed postage increases. Henderson told mailers at the forum that the job cuts will not preclude future hikes in postage rates-emphasizing that an increase in mail volume coupled with associated revenue is essential for growth.

"Opportunities for growth lie in the global embrace of e-commerce; there is no question about that. But don't write off hard copy mail just yet."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.