Industries at a Glance

Postal Service: NAICS 491

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About the Postal Service subsector

The postal service subsector is part of the transportation and warehousing sector.

The Postal Service subsector includes the activities of the National Post Office and its subcontractors operating under a universal service obligation to provide mail services, and using the infrastructure required to fulfill that obligation. These services include delivering letters and small parcels. These articles can be described as those that can be handled by one person without using special equipment. This allows the collection, pick-up, and delivery operations to be done with limited labor costs and minimal equipment. Sorting and transportation activities, where necessary, are generally mechanized. The restriction to small parcels distinguishes these establishments from those in the transportation industries. These establishments may also provide express delivery services using the infrastructure established for provision of basic mail services.

North American Industry Classification System

The postal service subsector consists of a single industry group, Postal Service: NAICS 4911.

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment in postal service. These data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys. The following tables present an overview of the industry , data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2013

First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

4,320

Postal service clerks

71,910

Postal service mail carriers

307,480

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

121,580

Postmasters and mail superintendents

17,930

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Earnings

Recent hourly and annual earnings for occupations commonly found in postal service.

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2013
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

First-line supervisors/managers of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

$34.14 $33.44 $71,000 $69,560

Postal service clerks

$25.88 $22.87 $53,840 $47,570

Postal service mail carriers

$27.16 $24.47 $56,490 $50,890

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

$25.88 $23.09 $53,830 $48,040

Postmasters and mail superintendents

$31.32 $31.89 $65,150 $66,340

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities in postal service.

Data series 2009 2010 2011 2012

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

14 17 19 22

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction.

Data series Back
data
Mar.
2014
Apr.
2014
May
2014
Jun.
2014

Producer price index

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(P) 214.2 (P) 214.2 (P) 214.2 (P) 214.2

Percent change from previous month

(P) 0.0% (P) 0.0% (P) 0.0% (P) 0.0%

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in postal service. Also included in this section is information on productivity, presented as the rate of change in output per hour of workers in the industry.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
1st quarter
2013
2nd quarter
2013
3rd quarter
2013
4th quarter
2013

Number of establishments

Federal government

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(P) 29,560 (P) 29,488 (P) 29,388 (P) 29,322

Footnotes
(P) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

Productivity

Data series Back
data
2009 2010 2011 2012

Labor productivity index, output per hour

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103.841 106.180 107.071 102.710

Percent change from previous year

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1.4 2.3 0.8 -4.1

Labor index, total labor hours

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77.430 71.788 69.202 67.548

Percent change from previous year

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-13.1 -7.3 -3.6 -2.4

Output index

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80.404 76.225 74.096 69.379

Percent change from previous year

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-11.9 -5.2 -2.8 -6.4

Unit labor costs index

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132.907 139.242 142.460 151.094

Percent change from previous year

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2.6 4.8 2.3 6.1

(Source: Productivity and Costs)

Other BLS Resources

Career Guide to Industries

To learn about careers from an industry perspective, see the Career Guide to Industries.

Data extracted on: July 22, 2014

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