New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected Thursday to order thousands of layoffs for next year in bruising budget cuts intended to close a massive gap, sources told the New York Post.

Bloomberg will announce the widespread job reductions and service cuts as he tries to close the nearly $3.3 billion budget deficit the city is facing next year.

In September he directed all New York agency heads to cut 5.4 percent from their current budgets and 8 percent from their spending plans for next year.

The cuts were lower -- 2.7 percent this year and 4 percent next year -- for the Department of Education and the four uniformed agencies, the NYPD, FDNY, Sanitation and Correction.

The Department of Finance is expected to take a steep hit of about 100 layoffs, several sources said.

The mayor will also announce reductions in staff through attrition.
When asked about layoffs Wednesday, the mayor replied, "Doing more with less always means fewer people because 80 percent of your budget is spent on salaries and benefits."

One source familiar with what the mayor will announce Thursday said he will drop the budget ax hard on services for seniors, libraries and cultural centers, while trying to spare the NYPD and Department of Education.

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