In an early morning press release, the U.S. Mint announced that they would be going from a two-shift operation to a three-shift operation citing increased production requirements for circulating coins.
The main job of the U.S. Mint is to supply circulating coinage to the Federal Reserve banks. These Federal Reserve branch banks then circulate the coins to member banks and distributors where they will eventually enter daily commerce. As part of their operations, the Federal Reserve will order coins from the U.S. Mint to supplement the money supply and provide the a forecast for the next 12-months. In order to meet the production requirements, the U.S. Mint uses the forecast to adjust their operations.
During the downturn in the economy, the U.S. Mint adjusted to a 4-day, 10 hours per shift schedule. Halting production so that the machines do not run on Friday saved money by lowering the electricity requirements and allowed for a broader maintenance program. Along with the schedule adjustments, the U.S. Mint instituted production efficiencies that have lead to lower costs. The result has been a an increase in seigniorage for the agency even during the downturn in the economy and the rising cost of base metals that have lead to debates over coin composition.
With this move, the U.S. Mint is likely going back to a 5-day, 8 hours per shift schedule. This will make the U.S. Mint a 24-hour operation again. It also means that they will have to hire people to work at the world’s largest coin factories in Philadelphia and Denver. The U.S. Mint anticipate that an additional 46 people will be hired in Philadelphia and 40 in Denver. They will be hiring quickly since they want to be up and running with their third shift by the mid-June to July timeframe.
If you are interested in working for the U.S. Mint, the positions will be posted on the federal government’s jobs website usajobs.gov. You can also visit the U.S. Mint’s online careers page to learn more about working for the U.S. Mint.