U.S. Postal Service stakeholders and employees are escalating their calls for financial assistance for the mailing agency as it reports new budget shortfalls amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
USPS lost $1.2 billion in April, according to preliminary financial data, compared to just $338 million in the same period in 2019. Factoring out fluctuations in interest on workers’ compensation costs, the gap was $470 million. Volume for regular, first class mail, the Postal Service’s most profitable offering, fell by 9% year-over-year, while marketing mail dropped by 45%.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at a virtual event hosted by The Hill last week USPS does not need immediate access to a $10 billion loan Congress authorized in response to the pandemic, citing an uptick in package business as Americans on stay-at-home restrictions boost their online ordering. He suggested the agency may not need the loan at all, though the numbers paint a different picture. While package volume jumped 35% in April compared to the previous year, it is a more labor-intensive, and therefore less profitable, product.