Leeds City Council in the north of England said about 650 people would go over the next year but said it was planning to create 200 new posts, giving a net loss of about 450.
The spokesman said the council did not expect there would be any compulsory job losses and none of the posts affected would be school-based staff.
British Unions are bracing themselves for tens of thousands of public sector job losses as the recession deepens.
The Local Government Association released figures last month suggesting that one in seven councils would cut jobs, but it has been forced to revise that position.
"It is regrettable that we've had to consider our options around the size of our workforce, but the council is in an almost impossible position," Leeds city council's joint leader, Richard Brett said.
"We have done everything we can to protect our frontline services and to minimise the impact of the losses on existing staff."
The council said the proposed reduction was a small proportion of its 33,000 workforce.
"Frontline services, such as care of vulnerable adults and children and refuse collection, will not be affected," a council spokesman said.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at email@example.com.
Sign up to the Government News newsletter