Overall employment of Postal Service workers is expected to decline 26 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employment declines, however, will vary by specialty.
Employment of Postal Service clerks is projected to decline by 48 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employment will be adversely affected by the decline in first-class mail volume because of the increasing use of automated bill pay and email.
Employment of Postal Service mail carriers is projected to decline by 12 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employment will be adversely affected by the use of automated “delivery point sequencing” systems that sort letter mail and flat mail directly. This reduces the amount of time that carriers spend sorting their mail, allowing them to spend more time on the streets delivering mail.
The amount of time carriers save on sorting letter mail and flat mail will allow them to increase the size of their routes, which should reduce the need to hire more carriers. In addition, the Postal Service is moving toward more centralized mail delivery, such as the use of cluster mailboxes, to cut down on the number of door-to-door deliveries.
Employment of Postal Service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators is projected to decline by 49 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employment will be adversely affected by new mail sorting technology that will read text and automatically sort, forward, and process mail, reducing the need for workers. The greater use of online services to pay bills and the increased use of email should further reduce the need for sorting and processing workers.
Very strong competition is expected for all jobs, as the number of applicants typically is greater than the number of available positions.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition