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U.S. Postal Service to cut 7,500 jobs, close offices 31 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service said on Thursday it would cut 7,500 jobs and close seven district offices and 2,000 post offices as it handles less mail and faces greater staff costs and competition from FedEx and United Parcel Service.

“It’s critical that we adjust our work force to match America’s changing communications trends as mail volumes continue to decline,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement.

In November, the Postal Service reported a net loss of $8.5 billion for fiscal year 2010, its fourth consecutive year of losses.

Joanne Veto, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said, “We know that we cannot look the same 10 years from now. The mail volume isn’t there. We have to adjust to keep up with the mail and customer needs.”

She said the Postal Service would close 2,000 post offices around the United States over the next 12 months, while eliminating the 7,500 jobs.

As of the end of January, the agency employed 583,000 people.

The first round of job cuts are expected to be completed by May 31. As part of the first round of cuts, the Postal Service said it was offering voluntary early retirement of $20,000 paid over two years to employees 50 years old with 20 years of service, or any age with 25 years of service.

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