Goldman Sachs Group (GS) cut its compensation outlays for the first nine months of the year by 21% from a year earlier, as the giant investment bank responded to a drop in earnings by reducing salaries and benefits.

Goldman paid out $13.1 billion in compensation for the nine months ended Sept. 30, down from $16.7 billion a year earlier, Goldman Sachs said in a statement today. With about 39,000 employees worldwide, Goldman paid an average of about $336,000 for each employee for the nine months.

Goldman Sachs looked to cut costs as both revenue and profit fell on slower trading. The company earlier Tuesday reported that third-quarter earnings dropped 40% from a year earlier to $1.9 billion as revenue plunged 28% to $8.9 billion. However, Goldman's quarterly earnings per share of $2.98 handily beat consensus estimates of $2.28.

Goldman's revenue for the nine months dropped 14% to $30.5 billion.


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