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Closing Time: Postal Service May Cut 35,000 Jobs

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Closing Time: Postal Service May Cut 35,000 Jobs

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Closing Time: Postal Service May Cut 35,000 Jobs

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Revenues have also been dwindling at the U.S. Postal Service, where another big round of service and job cuts have just been announced.

Yesterday officials said they will close 223 mail processing facilities some time after May.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: In recent years, the Postal Service has suffered big losses, largely because of the weak economy and the widespread move toward electronic mail among consumers. It lost $3.3 billion during the last quarter of 2011.

Postal officials say they need to cut $20 billion in expenses by 2015. The move announced yesterday will result in the closing or consolidation of a large number of the processing facilities where mail is gathered and sorted. That's expected to slow down mail delivery, but it will also save $2.6 billion in annual operating costs. The move will result in the elimination of some 35,000 jobs - most of them are full-time.

The Postal Service employs about 546,000 people nationwide, down from a peak of 800,000 in 2006. To save money, it's been planning to shut down many smaller post offices across the country. It's also asked Congress for permission to stop delivering mail on Saturdays, and it wants to end a requirement that it pre-fund health benefits for its employees.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News.

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