HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Cities across Alabama are facing a shortage of U.S. Postal Service workers, and many North Alabamians are saying it is taking longer for their mail and packages to be delivered.

“We just moved to town from Albany New York, so we have pen pals and my children have pen pals, and they’ve been sending mail all the way back to Albany,” said Madison resident Allison Mitchell. “It seems to take a long time to get there and a long time to get back.”

Scottsboro resident Sherry Callie said she and her neighbors, especially those who frequently order items online, have spent more time waiting for packages to arrive in recent weeks.

“Some of the packaging is not getting there on time,” Callie said. “They’re expecting things for two or three days and it’s not getting there. I’ve noticed a bit of chatter about that.”

USPS is currently looking to fill hundreds of positions in cities across the state, including Huntsville, Madison, Meridianville, Elkmont, Athens, and Decatur.

“We have a dire need for carriers and clerks right now, all functions of the job,” said acting Madison Postmaster Sandra Harris.

Harris said recent retirements and a competitive North Alabama job market are contributing to the worker shortage. She and other local postal workers are asking for patience.

“Everyone is affected by it,” Harris said. “It makes for a long day for the carriers that do come to work because now they have to carry their workload plus the employees that don’t come.”

You may see your mail carrier deliver to your house at a different time than usual. Mitchell said her mail is often not delivered at consistent times from day to day.

“Recently I have noticed our mail carrier comes at different times of the day,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes it’s the morning. Sometimes it’s the afternoon.”

As the holiday season approaches and the number of package deliveries increases, Harris warns you may experience additional delays.

For more information about available USPS jobs and the application process, click here.