America's biggest layoffs of the past 25 years

HP'S Meg Whitman on Job Cuts

Hewlett-Packard recently announced a 33,000-employee layoff, a reduction that represents approximately 10 percent of the company's workforce. As the PC market has declined, HP has struggled to find a foothold in key markets like mobile and software. Analysts suggest that the layoff—along with new offerings in cloud computing, security and data analytics—will help boost earnings while the company explores new opportunities.

But just how big is HP's announcement compared to other famous American layoffs?

Company research site FindTheCompany turned to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas to visualize the biggest layoffs at U.S. companies. The firm is the oldest executive outplacement organization in America and the leading aggregator of workforce reduction data.

The data includes layoff announcements from the early '90s through today. Note that the numbers are based on officially announced figures, not actual totals. As we'll see below, some layoffs grow far past the initial, announced estimate.

We'll start with the overall list, then highlight a few key charts and insights.

Note that the data in these charts aggregates only the layoffs from the top 30 announcements, not all layoffs.

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