Nov 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

USPS reports 2021 net loss of $4.9 billion

Photo of a white USPS Priority Mail package
A United States Postal Service package support annex in La Vergne, Tennessee. Photo: Brett Carlsen via Getty Images

The United States Postal Service (USPS) reported Wednesday a net loss of $4.9 billion for the 2021 budget year, which ended on Sept. 30.

Why it matters: Though the agency has faced backlash for delayed deliveries and backlogs this past year, 2021's net loss is nearly half the agency's net loss in 2020, which was recorded at $9.2 billion.

By the numbers: The USPS generated operating revenue of $77 billion in 2021, up $3.9 billion or 5.3% from 2020.

  • Shipping and packages revenue increased by $3.5 billion, or 12.2%, largely due to spikes in online commerce.

What they're saying: "Despite the magnitude of our financial challenges, we are making encouraging progress in correcting the long-term imbalance in postal revenues and expenses, and we expect to see continued improvement as we fully implement the Delivering for America plan, which includes making meaningful progress towards meeting or exceeding 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping products," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement.

Worth noting: Changes implemented by DeJoy led to "confusion and inconsistency in operations at postal facilities" that "compounded the significant negative service impacts across the country," according to a report from the USPS inspector general released last year.

Go deeper