Giving the lie to claims by the Obama administration and the media that an economic recovery is under way in the United States, major employers announced tens of thousands of new job cuts this week.
The pace was set by the Obama administration itself, with the US Postal Service (USPS) ordering the biggest single jobs massacre in more than a year. Some 35,000 positions are to be eliminated by October 1, part of an overall plan to cut 150,000 jobs over several years.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Thursday that the USPS would close or consolidate 223 mail processing plants, about half of the total, to cut $2.1 billion from its costs. The job cuts will begin in late May after the expiration of a six-month moratorium imposed last year. There will be a combination of attrition and layoffs affecting 30,000 career employees and 5,000 temporary workers, most of whom have worked for the post office for a lengthy period.
The attrition rate will be forced up as workers are offered transfers to other mail processing plants, in some cases hundreds of miles from their homes, while others are pressured to retire, even though the Postal Service is seeking to reduce its contributions to health care and pensions for retired workers.