Bank of America may cut up to 35,000 jobs

December 11, 2008 6:33:29 PM PST
Bank of America says its pending merger with Merill Lynch and the current economic climate will result in the elimination of 30,000 to 35,000 jobs, almost 10 percent of the two companies combined workforce.

"It's just part of the unfolding disaster going on all around us," University of San Francisco professor Michael Lehmann said.

The bank says the cuts will take place over three years with the majority of them happening next year, but it will not have the final number of cuts or where those cuts will come from until early 2009.

Some customers are worried service could be impacted.

"I'm looking to see how that affects services; if it affects them and I dislike it, I'll complain bitterly," Bank of American customer J.C. Henderson said.

Bank of America is the nation's third largest bank and considered financially solid.

Bank of America workers who get handed a pink slip are going to be forced into a job market with an unemployment rate at a 26 year high.

Nicholas Bowden lost his delivery job three weeks ago. He is applying for unemployment for the first time in his life and finding the job search extremely tough.

"Almost every day I go on the Internet and I look for places to apply, to interview but they say they are slow and when you give them a call they never call you," Bowden said.

Layoffs right around the holidays are becoming an almost daily headline --yesterday it was Yahoo with 1,500 job cuts.

Steven Levy is director and senior economist with the Center for Continuing Study of the California economy.

"I think people are trying to clear the books before year's end and trying to send a signal to shareholders that the companies are actively trimming payrolls.

Levy predicts a bleak job outlook for at least another nine months and there seems to be little hope on Main Street for a quicker recovery.

"Well it definitely could get worse before it gets better again, I think that seems to be the consensus across the lines of all industries right now" Dave Constantin said.


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