JPMorgan offered jobs to 6,000 Bear staff: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N, acquiring rival investment bank Bear Stearns Cos BSC.N amid one of the worst market slumps ever, so far has extended jobs to about 6,000 out of Bear's nearly 14,000 employees, a person familiar with the situation said on Monday.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

Earlier on Monday Chief Executive James Dimon said about three-fourths of people decisions have been completed so far, with 40 percent offered jobs..

The remaining roughly 3,500 employees will learn their fates in the next two weeks. These staffers, mostly in technology and operations, and will likely see a lower percentage of job offers, the source said.

The merger is expected to be completed June 1.

The fate of Bear’s bankers and traders have been hanging in the balance since March 16, when the New York bank was forced into a merger with the bigger, stronger JPMorgan.

For weeks, JPMorgan officials denied they knew how many layoffs would result from the merger. There has been widespread speculation that about half of Bear’s employees would be laid off.

JPMorgan is under pressure to keep costs and combined headcount under control as the financial market slump continues to depress business. With Wall Street banks firing tens of thousands of employees, JPMorgan expects to cut from its own staff to make room for Bear Stearns employees deemed superior, the source said.

Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; editing by Carol Bishopric