The Postal Service, printing, and newspaper publishing will be in the top 10 for employment declines between 2008 and 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report says.
The 30 occupations with the largest projected decreases during that period include “postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators” (-30%); “paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders” (-21%); “postal service clerks” (-18%); and “mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service” (-11%).
Oddly enough, the predictions, if accurate, might actually be good news for some of the industries and their employees. They indicate that the rapid employment declines of the past year will taper off.
For example, the report predicts the U.S. Postal Service’s employment will decline 13%, from 748,000 in 2008 to 650,000 in 2018; USPS is already about halfway there. Postal officials’ presentations indicate they will finish 2010 with about 650,000 employees, and it seems likely that downsizing will continue in subsequent years.
However, the BLS does seem to be on target with its projection that the bulk of USPS job cuts will occur among non-supervisory employees who do not deliver the mail. Letter carriers, it predicts, will decrease by only 1% and represent the vast majority of new USPS hires.
The projected decreases of 25% for newspapers and 16% for printers don’t seem so big when you consider the cuts they have already made during this recession-racked year. And the 8% decrease in “reporters and correspondents” since 2008 has probably already happened.
For further reading:
- The BLS news release, which lists the top 10 industries and top 30 occupations for both job gains and losses.
- The full study on which the news release is based.
- Mail Volumes Have Declined Faster Than The Postal Workforce, But That Might Change, which presents details of actual and projected employment declines at the Postal Service.