The United States Postal Service implemented a 3-cent increase in the price of postage stamps on Sunday, making it the third price hike in the past year. The cost of domestic or forever stamps, which are typically used to mail a one-ounce letter, rose from 63 cents to 66 cents on July 9.
This 4.8% increase in stamp price aims to counteract the effects of inflation, according to the United States Postal Service. Additionally, other mailing services such as domestic postcards, international postcards, and international letters also experienced price increases.
The previous stamp price increase occurred in January, raising the cost from 58 cents to 60 cents. In contrast, stamp prices remained relatively stable between the 1970s and 2000, with only three to four price adjustments per decade, as reported by USPS data. However, the frequency of hikes has significantly increased in recent years. Stamp prices increased six times during the 2000s and seven times throughout the 2010s.
The USPS justifies these price adjustments as necessary to generate much-needed revenue. Over the years, the volume of mail handled by USPS has decreased significantly. In 2000, USPS handled a total of 207 billion pieces of mail, whereas in 2022, that number decreased to just over 127 billion.
The change in stamp prices coincides with a recent warning from USPS regarding check fraud. Out of concern for the safety of letter carriers, USPS advised individuals to drop off their mail directly at a Post Office instead of using one of the flagship blue collection boxes.
Despite these adjustments and challenges, USPS continues to play a vital role in delivering mail across the nation.