When HP said it would acquire EDS several months ago, many speculated that employee heads would eventually roll given the overlap between the two companies' services. Unfortunately those fears were not unfounded, and the company today announced plans to trim its workforce by 24,600 employees (or about 7.5 percent) as part of what they say is a three-year restructuring program.

Almost half the job cuts will occur in the United States, which adds to a string of bad employment news in the country, including the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers, and recent job figures that showed the US unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent in August - its highest level in five years.

HP says it plans to replace roughly half of these positions over the three years "to create a global workforce that has the right blend of services delivery capabilities to address the diversity of its markets and customers worldwide." This suggests HP is simply replacing more expensive U.S. employees with overseas workers, which will result in annual cost savings of approximately $1.8 billion.