Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., facing a weakening economy and the prospect of mounting losses, began laying off workers this week as part of their efforts to cut more than 12,000 jobs, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Goldman, which converted last month from the biggest U.S securities firm into a commercial bank, began telling about 3,200 employees, or 10% of its work force, they were out of a job Wednesday, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified, because the decisions were confidential.

Another person said that this week Citi has notifies employees who are affected by its previously announced plan to shed 9,100 positions, or about 2.6% of its head count, over the next 12 months.

The ousted workers add to the swelling ranks of Wall Street's unemployed. Banking and brokerage firms have shed almost 150,000 jobs worldwide since the subprime mortgage market collapsed last year.

Neither Goldman nor Citi would talk about the job cuts.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.