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Mail carriers have recently taken up a unique schedule in some Bay Area communities.  

Some residents of San Jose have noted that mail in their neighborhoods has been arriving late, sometimes in the middle of the night, NBC Bay Area first reported. U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Justin Hastings attributes the issue to a national labor shortage, the lingering effects of the pandemic and the mail service delays that typically occur over the holiday season. 

“During the holiday, it is not uncommon to see your mail carrier out early in the morning or later at night. What you are seeing is not necessarily a reflection of shorthandedness but the commitment and passion that our employees have for their communities,” Hastings told SFGATE.

These late hours are the result of mail carriers needing to work overtime to fill the demand, Hastings said. He added that in order to help mitigate some of the workload, the Postal Service is looking to fill numerous positions over the upcoming months. 

According to NBC Bay Area, this isn’t unique to San Jose: Delays in mail service have been taking place all over the West Coast. 

“We will continue flexing our available resources and maximizing our local personnel to help with the workload. We are proud of the efforts of postal employees in the San Jose area, as they define an essential public service,” Hastings said. 

Hastings said the Postal Service is looking to hire 28,000 new employees over the holiday season. This will hopefully ease the burden on mail carriers and reduce the need for late-night shifts.