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USPS has insufficient revenues to cover its expenses, has reached its statutory borrowing limit, and has projected unsustainable losses through fiscal year 2020. In its April 2013 5- Year Business Plan, USPS reported that it needs to save up to $20 billion annually through fiscal year 2017 to help regain financial self sufficiency. A key area for potential cost savings is managing personnel-related costs, which account for about 78 percent of its expenses.

GAO was asked to examine USPS’s plans to manage the size and cost of its workforce. This report discusses (1) actions USPS has taken since 2006 to reduce the size and cost of its workforce and the results of those actions, (2) the status of other options USPS has identified to reduce workforce costs, and (3) steps that USPS has taken to implement workforce planning. GAO reviewed reports from USPS and the Postal Regulatory Commission on actions USPS has taken to manage the size and cost of its workforce; GAO interviewed USPS officials and stakeholders, including postal labor organizations and management associations and mailing industry organizations, to obtain views on planned initiatives. GAO also identified key principles for workforce planning from prior GAO work and obtained documentation to identify steps USPS is taking to implement these principles.

GAO is not making any recommendations in this report. USPS reviewed a draft of this report and provided technical comments, which GAO incorporated as appropriate.


Suggested Citation
Government Accountability Office. (2014). U.S. Postal Service: Status of workforce reductions and related planning efforts. Washington, DC: Author.