The U.S. Postal Service will hire as many as 40,000 employees on a temporary basis to staff post offices and distribution centers around the country as it gears up for the busy holiday season.
The hiring spree is an increase over 2015, when the Postal Service hired 29,000 seasonal workers. The mailing agency announced it expects to onboard between 35,000 and 40,000 workers “to process and deliver holiday cards and packages to our customers.”
The hiring has already begun, USPS said in a statement, and is off to a good start. The seasonal jobs could lead to permanent work, with past seasonal holiday workers following that path. The agency did not specify how many employees it ultimately aims to hire on a full-time basis.
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USPS said it looks to recent retirees to come back to help “deliver holiday cheer,” as the have “virtually no learning curve” and have to spend little time training.
A surge in business during the 2015 holiday season led the Postal Service to report a profit in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, the first such quarter in five years.
The new hires may also help the Postal Service deliver for another season: the upcoming election. A Forbes op-ed recently accused the Postal Service’s murky record with on-time delivery since it slowed down its schedule and shuttered facilities as putting at risk votes-by-mail being delivered and counted on time.
USPS management, however, called the piece “incorrect and misleading.” The agency said it has been worked with state and federal election officials and is “fully prepared to deliver election and ballots to ensure that every vote counts.”