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Drop in volume is in the mail

The nationwide economic downturn is shrinking the total volume of mail carried through this part of the state, just as it is across the country.

The amount of letters, magazines and packages sent through the mail in our region mirrors national trends showing decreases in volume, including about a 13 percent drop from 2008 to 2009.

"Some of it is because of electronic diversion," said Karen Mazurkiewicz, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service in Buffalo, "but a lot of it is because that a majority of the mail that we get is really from businesses."

Here's how many pieces of mail has come through Buffalo, Rochester, Jamestown and Elmira regions (all zip codes starting in 140 to 149) in the past several years:

-- Oct. 2005 through Sept. 2006 ---- 1.45 billion
-- Oct. 2006 through Sept. 2007 ---- 1.42 billion
-- Oct. 2007 through Sept. 2008 ---- 1.34 billion
-- Oct. 2008 through Sept. 2009 ---- 1.17 billion

Since September, the downward trend in volume is continuing, Mazurkiewicz said, but the drop is not as steep.

Hear more of what Mazurkiewicz had to say here in this audio clip:

As the volume of regular mail sags, the post office continues to pursue plans to drop mail delivery on Saturdays. Read a press release from the Postal Service here.

Does Buffalo, due to its generally older population, send more mail than other places in the country?

Listen to Mazurkiewicz's response here:

--Aaron Besecker

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