MORRIS COUNTY — Once again, the cost of postage for domestic letters is increasing. The United States Postal Service (USPS) has announced a three-cent hike, bringing the price of a first-class mail stamp to 66 cents. This adjustment follows a previous increase less than six months ago in January. Since 2018, the cost of stamps has risen by a total of 13 cents.
The USPS is implementing these price hikes as part of a strategy to counter inflationary pressures and the decline in first-class mail volumes. In January, stamp prices were raised from 60 cents to 63 cents, and now they will experience a further increase of 5.4% with the approval of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Stamp prices have seen a significant increase of 32% since early 2019 when they were raised from 50 cents to 55 cents. According to the USPS, these adjustments are necessary to generate much-needed revenue for the Postal Service. The volume of first-class mail has declined by 3% in the past year, reaching its lowest level in 50 years, and it has dropped by 51% since 2006.
First-class mail represents the mail class that contributes the most revenue to the USPS, accounting for $24.2 billion, which is approximately 31% of the total revenue of $78.8 billion in 2022. To mitigate projected losses, the USPS has implemented regular price increases, implemented reforms, and received financial relief from Congress. These measures have resulted in cutting projected losses by over half through 2031.