The cost to mail a letter just went up again.
The United States Postal Service has increased the price per stamp from 42 cents to 44 cents. Although 2 cents may not seem like much, when you send out mail in bulks, like most businesses, it is. Harry Spratlin with the United States Postal Service in South Carolina says because the effect the economy is having on businesses, for the postal service, it’s a domino effect. Spratlin says all of their revenue comes from postage, and the recession is not helping. In South Carolina last year, mail volume was down by 19%.
“That’s bad for revenue. People are not mailing because of the recession. I’m not talking about just your everyday ma’ and pop, I’m talking about the people who send business mail by large quantities,” says Spratlin.
The postal service has recently had to make cut backs in its infrastructure as well.
“Right now, we are in a state of flux and our mail volumes are continuing to go down because of the recession and we are looking for every way we can to work that out and Post Master General has asked to cut back on one way day of delivery and to set aside a situation for employee health benefits to be stretched out over a few more years so it wouldn’t take so much out of the budget right now,” says Spratlin.
Spratlin says they have also cut over 100 million work hours in the last few years. As for the price of stamps, he says it’s possible for another increase, but they have to keep up with the rate of inflation.
“We look at it every year and if the consumer price index goes up, then whatever the amount of inflation is, that’s the amount of postage rate increase we’ll see,” says Spratlin.
The Liberty Bell stamp is the only stamp that can still be used without the additional charge.