Mailers Council: USPS Productivity Falls in Fiscal Q4

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The U.S. Postal Service's productivity declined in almost every category during the fourth quarter of its past fiscal year, according to a study released yesterday by the Mailers Council, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and mailing associations.

The data from the fourth Quarterly Report Card on the Postal Service, published by the Mailers Council, covers the quarter that ended Sept. 8.

The report card also showed that overall, postal productivity for the year rose only modestly.

"Productivity improvements are impossible when mail volume declines and the number of employees and facilities stay the same or increase," said Bob McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council. "The report card shows once again that the postal service must reduce both employees and facilities if it is to achieve significant productivity gains in the future."

The latest quarterly report shows declines for eight of the 10 categories graded, no change in one and improvement in one. Categories that declined were volume per work hour, unit labor costs, mail processing, delivery and four private sector benchmark comparison categories. Revenue per work hour received a B+, the same as last quarter, and retail services moved to an A- from a B-.

The Mailers Council grades the postal service's productivity compared with its own performance in previous quarters and with productivity trends in the private sector.

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