WorldCom Inc. will lay off at least 3,000 workers next month as part of the company's effort to trim costs and emerge from bankruptcy next year, company officials said yesterday.

Sources said it is likely that the layoffs will include dozens of Washington area employees.

WorldCom spokesman Brad Burns said yesterday that the layoffs are part of the company's previously announced plan to eliminate 17,000 jobs and would not affect its ability to serve customers.

The latest job cuts were disclosed during a question-and-answer session involving WorldCom employees and the company's incoming chairman, chief executive and president, Michael D. Capellas, in Colorado Springs.

When asked about layoffs, Capellas turned the microphone over to Fred Briggs, president of operations and technology. Briggs said one of his division, which provides internal computer and data-networking support, would be laying off 33 percent of its 6,000-person global workforce.

Separately yesterday, Rudolph W. Giuliani downplayed speculation that he is in line to become the next chairman of WorldCom. When asked by reporters in New York if he had been approached to become the scandal-plagued company's next chairman, Giuliani replied, "That's really way premature."

The former mayor of New York noted that his firm has been hired by one of the company's creditors to provide advice on its ongoing bankruptcy. "The nature of the engagement is for Giuliani Partners, my firm, not necessarily just me," Giuliani said.