Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service

Ch. 6-implications for Postal Rates, Service Levels, and Labor Requirements .69

Table 15.-Projected USPS Year 2000 Labor Force Requirements by Employee Group, Assuming High But
Plausible Generation II EMS Growth, 2-Percent Underlying Mainstream Growth, and 3-Percent Labor
Productivity Improvement"

Percentage
change
year 2000

Employee group

Headquarters employees .......................... 0
Regional and other field units ...................... 0
Inspection service . . . . . . . .. ... . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Postm asters ......... ............................ - 10.20/0
Post office supervisors and technical personnel ....... - 28.0
Post office clerks and mail handlers ................. -46.4
City delivery carriers and vehicle drivers ............. - 27.0
Rural delivery carriers ............................. - 14.6
Special delivery messengers ....................... - 21.0
Building and equipment maintenance personnel ..... . - 24.3
Vehicle maintenance facility personnel .............. - 15.6
Totals ........................................
aRoughly ecivalent to 1-percent mainstream growth/1 5-percent productivity improvement
Based on total year 2000 USPS delivered mail volume of 885 billion
NOTE All numbers rounded to three significant figures
SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment

processing functions now performed by clerks
and mail handlers. A lesser but still significant
percentage (almost one quarter) of the total
employee reductions would be in the city de
livery carrier group.
Overall, the clerks and mail handlers could
be reduced by about 33 to 46 percent of their
1980 complement, respectively, for the two
cases in tables 14 and 15. Post office super
visors could be reduced by about 20 to 28 per
cent, and city delivery carriers by 19 to 27
percent.
The projections in tables 14 and 15 do not
reflect any addition of employees for operation
of USPS Generation II EMS facilities. RCA
estimated that 5,000 new USPS jobs would
be created if a USPS Generation II EMS serv-
ice were fully deployed." OTA did not in
dependently verify this estimate. However, it
seems clear that, qualitatively, any increase
in USPS employees for Generation II opera
tions would be very small compared to the pro
jected employee reductions.
"The RCA stud conducted for USPS estimated that 5,000
new USPS jobs would be created through full deployment of
the EMSS. See RCA, Electronic Message Service System:
Growth and Economic Analyses, 1977

Number of
reduction from
fiscal year 1980
0
0
0
-2,960
-10,200
-141,000
-52,300
- 7,750
-525
-7,150
-755
- 223,000

Employees
year 2000
total
2,800
6,220
5,240
26,000
26,300
163,000
141,000
45,300
1,980
22,300
4,080
444,000

Up to this point, all the discussion and anal
ysis of projected labor force requirements has
been in terms of the high but plausible Genera
tion II EMS growth alternative. OTA con
ducted additional sensitivity runs to deter
mine if the labor force changes would be
significantly different under very high, mod
erate, and slow growth alternatives. The re
sults are summarized in table 16. Basically,
the net reduction in the overall USPS labor
force would not change unless the 100 percent
EMS stimulation factor applies. That is, if
each Generation II EMS message stimulates
a new Generation II message, then the overall
labor force reduction would be somewhat less
for all alternatives. The labor force reduction
would then be smallest ( 15.3 percent) for the
very high Generation II growth alternative
and largest ( - 20.4 percent) for the slow
growth alternative.
Whether or not these labor force reductions
could be handled through attrition depends
largely on future USPS retirement, quit, and
new hire rates. In recent years, retirements
have averaged about 4 percent of the full time
labor force and about two thirds of all separa
tions." However, over the last 10 years, net
"u.s. Department of Labor, "The Labor Impact of Insti
tuting Electronic Mail Systems in the United States Postal
Service" pp. 9 10, paper prepared for the 1979 Presidential)
Review Memoon USPS electronic mail policy.

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United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39480/. Accessed December 29, 2014.