U.S. Employers With the Largest 2011 Layoff Announcements

With today’s disappointing unemployment report that no new jobs were created in August by US employers, ABC News asked global outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas to compile a list of firms that had the largest planned job cut announcements this year.

  1. Merck and Co.: 13,000 layoffs

One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Merck, announced on July 29 plans to lay off 13,000 employees by the end of 2015. Based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., the company said almost 40 percent of those layoffs would take place in the U.S.


2. Borders Group: 16,700 layoffs

After Borders filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, the bookstore chain began liquidating bookstores and announced 6,000 layoffs February 17 and 10,700 layoffs July 19. The company had over 500 bookstores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico at the beginning of the year and expects to close its last few stores in the next month.


3. U.S. Postal Service: 7,500 layoffs

The U.S. Postal Service announced on March 25 it planned to lay off 7,500 employees and close seven district offices to cut losses from lower mail volume.


4. Cisco Systems: 6,500 layoffs

Tech giant Cisco announced 6,500 layoffs on July 19, from its global workforce of 73,000. The company, based in San Jose, Calif., is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer-networking equipment.


5. Lockheed Martin: 6,500

Aerospace and defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, announced 6,500 layoffs on July 19. Based in Bethesda, M.D., the company employs 140,000 people around the world.


6. State of Connecticut: 6,500

After Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and state employee unions failed to make a concession deal to stem a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, the state announced 6,500 layoffs on July 15. Correctional officers were the single largest group affected during the first set of layoff notices to 328 employees, according to the New Haven Register.


7. Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc.: 2,500

When restaurant company Perkins & Marie Callender’s announced it was filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, it revealed 2,500 layoffs. The company, based in Memphis, Tenn., was a merger between Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery in May of 2006.


8. Medtronic: 2,000 layoffs

On Feb. 24, Medtronic, one of the largest medical device manufacturers in the world, announced 2,000 layoffs that would take place over three months. Based in Minneapolis, the company had hoped the layoffs would improve its financial position, but in May, its fourth-quarter profit fell 19 percent on expenses related to recent layoffs, according to the Associated Press.


9. State of Alabama: 2,000 layoffs

On April 21, the state of Alabama said it will fire 2,000 workers. The recession took a toll across the state, leading debt-ridden municipalities like Jefferson County to nearly declare bankruptcy.


10. State of Iowa: 2,000 layoffs

The state of Iowa was also not immune to the recent recession. It announced 2,000 layoffs of state employees.