Postal Service announces hiring freeze

The U.S. Postal Service is freezing hiring and promotions in its Washington headquarters and local field offices as a cost-savings measure, the agency has announced.

The move affects about 8,000 positions, including administrative, marketing and legal, as well as 2,000 vacancies for postmasters managing local offices, according to USPS. The freeze will not affect delivery, customer service and transportation positions. According to Anthony Vegliante, USPS executive vice president and chief human resources officer, the freeze will continue until further notice.

Mail volume has dropped 20 percent since 2007, and the agency is adjusting the size of its workforce accordingly, said USPS spokesman Mark Saunders. "We're doing this from an operational and administrative perspective," he added.

USPS is estimating the freeze will save up to $30 million per quarter and would contribute to $3.5 billion in cost savings before the end of this fiscal year. The average salary for the jobs frozen ranged from around $65,000 to $70,000.

The Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government last week approved spending bills that include provisions requiring USPS to maintain a six-day delivery schedule. The agency is requesting a move to five-day delivery, which it estimates would save $3 billion annually. The change also would eliminate the equivalent of 40,000 full-time jobs, saving $2.7 billion.

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