It’s no secret that there are a lot fewer postal workers than there used to be; the size of the agency’s total career workforce plunged 26 percent between 2000 and 2010, from about 787,500 to 583,900. But which crafts took the biggest hit? The agency’s inspector general put together some figures recently and found that a steep drop in the number of clerks accounted for almost two-thirds of that shrinkage.
From 2000 to 2010, the ranks of clerks—a category that also includes nurses and motor vehicle operators–nosedived from 291,494 to 164,581. By itself, that’s a 44 percent tumble. Do a little more math and you’ll see that clerks absorbed about 62 percent of the total job cuts in the USPS career work force during that time.
The next two hardest-hit employee classes, though, may come as a surprise: The ranks of supervisors and managers fell 28 percent while a more nebulous category described as “headquarters/other” dropped 24 percent. The number of city carriers and mail handlers was down 20 percent, postmasters, 12 percent, and maintenance employees, 11 percent. The only craft to show an increase was that of rural carriers, which rose 17 percent. Anyone have any thoughts on why that was?