Less than two months after it agreed to acquire Merrill Lynch & Co., Bank of America announced yesterday that it plans to cut between 30,000 and 35,000 jobs over the next three years. The Merrill Lynch merger, approved just one week ago by shareholders of both companies, is expected to close by the start of next year.

The Charlotte Observer quotes UNC-Charlotte economist John Connaughton weighing in on the relative impact of job losses at Wachovia and BofA:

“Bank of America has never had an overly large presence in Charlotte, given the size of the bank,” Connaughton said. About 5 percent of the combined company’s work force is based in Charlotte.

By contrast, the struggles of Wachovia — Charlotte’s other big bank, which is being sold to San Francisco’s Wells Fargo — will have a far greater impact locally, Connaughton said. That’s because Charlotte will lose a corporate headquarters, not just jobs, with Wachovia, and because Wachovia employs more people in Charlotte than Bank of America.

Bank of America said in a statement that the cuts would eliminate overlapping jobs related to the purchase of Merrill Lynch. The cuts are also related to “the current recessionary environment,” the bank said.