The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will hire 28,000 seasonal employees to handle the looming winter peak season rush, even as forecasters puzzle about whether shoppers will return to pre-pandemic spending patterns in light of economic pressures like swollen inflation and interest rates.
USPS’ hiring target follows news that parcel carrier UPS Inc. will hire 100,000 and third party logistics provider (3PL) Geodis will hire 5,000 temporary workers for the busy period. All three efforts will take place in a tight labor market where trucking fleets and warehouse operators say their employment costs are rising as they offer higher wages to attract qualified workers. At the same time, economists are still sifting through market signals as they struggle to predict consumers’ quirky shopping habits.
Despite those unknown variables, USPS has been ramping up its parcel network to handle an increased flow of boxes and a dwindling stream of paper envelopes. USPS has long said that those trends are occurring because of the rising popularity of e-commerce deliveries and a shift to replace first class letters with email and other online communication.