No pain no gain. The U.S. Postal Service has reduced spending over the past decade but it has come with a downside, notably a reduction in service. Over the past decade the Postal Service has reduced labor costs by $10 billion, improved productivity, and generally reined in spending.
The U.S. Postal Service’s unassuming money order product actually has quite a distinguished history. The government established the United States Money Order System in 1864 as a safe way for Union soldiers to send money home to relatives.
A century and a half later, Americans still find money orders valuable. Last year, over 6 million American households purchased about 100 million of them with a face value of roughly $21 billion. Money orders – among the Postal Service’s most profitable products – generated $159 million in revenue in fiscal year 2015.
Back in the day, advertising mail volumes pretty much tracked the economy, declining in a bust and then rising when a boom eventually came along. But those days may be gone, as our recent white paper, Advertising Mail: Past and Present, indicates.
Yes, ad mail plummeted during the Great Recession, but volumes have lagged behind as the economy has improved.