Mail Study Shows Where the Jobs Are

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If mail volume were to drop 20 percent, 1.5 million postal-related jobs would be at risk, according to a new jobs study focusing on the mailing industry.


The study, prepared by the Envelope Manufacturers Association's Foundation for Paper-Based Communications' Institute for Postal Studies, pulled together analyses of jobs and the mailing industry by the Mailing Industry Task Force, U.S. Postal Service and Direct Marketing Association.


The foundation supports the paper-based communications industry and is a sister organization of the Envelope Manufacturers Association. Two consulting firms, Transformation Strategies and SLS Consulting, analyzed the data. Both the EMA and the task force counted around 9 million mail-related jobs.


"We can tell you across what industries the mailing industry is spread," foundation president Maynard H. Benjamin said. "For example, how many people in manufacturing work in mailrooms, how many people in financial services work in mailrooms, etc."


The foundation is sharing the information with lawmakers to help them understand the industry's reach.


The study, released in April, breaks down the job information by state, congressional district and mailing industry segment.


In California, the state with the most postal-related jobs (about 1.02 million, according to the EMA): 518,402 are in mailing services; 107,108, manufacturing; 100,322, professional, scientific and technical services; 88,109, USPS workers; 87,514, information; 83,695, transportation and warehousing; and 34,517, retail trade.


In New York, second largest in terms of postal-related jobs (more than 710,000, per the EMA), 306,293 are in mailing services; 120,269, professional, scientific and technical services; 104,178, information; 61,130, USPS; 56,631, manufacturing; 45,286, transportation and warehousing; and 17,131, retail trade.


Wyoming has the fewest postal-related jobs (12,464, the EMA said): 6,945 are in mailing services; 1,827, information; 1,422, USPS; 818, retail trade; 755, manufacturing; 384, transportation and warehousing; and 313, professional, scientific and technical services.


With the data, "you truly see how much a part the mailing industry is of the general economy," Benjamin said. "And if we don't do something about higher and higher and higher rates, then what you are going to get is a lot of unemployment in the mailing industry. These are good, skilled jobs that really don't go overseas, so you are going to create a real challenge for the economy."


The study also offers an outlook on the effect for jobs if mail volume were to drop significantly.


"If there was a 10 percent disruption in mail volume, 750,000 jobs would be at risk," Benjamin said. "If you have a 20 percent disruption of mail volume, which is the worst of possible cases, 1.5 million jobs would be at risk."


To make its point known, the foundation put much of the job breakdown onto a deck of 3-by-5 cards and began distributing them around Capitol Hill last month.


"We are using these cards to remind members of Congress how many mailing industry jobs are in their district," Benjamin said.


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