The U.S. Postal Service’s earnings during the busy holiday season fell once again in fiscal 2020, though the overall loss for the quarter was cut in half from the previous year to $748 million.
The “controllable” loss for USPS—which the agency calculates by excluding factors outside of management’s control, such as inflationary adjustments to liabilities—more than tripled from fiscal 2019, however, spiking to $387 million during the Oct. 1, 2019-Dec. 31, 2019, period. Just four years ago, USPS turned a controllable profit of $1.1 billion during the first quarter, its busiest time of the year.
The Postal Service brought in $19.3 billion in total revenue for the first quarter this fiscal year, a 2% decline from the same quarter last fiscal year. The mailing agency was able to cut its costs $1.1 billion during the three-month period, primarily by slashing personnel costs through reductions in work hours.
“We continuously focus on reducing work hours and related expenses wherever possible,” USPS Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett told reporters on Thursday. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found the Postal Service slashed personnel costs by $8 billion in recent years, but the agency had exaggerated additional savings.