The world's largest manufacturer of PCs, Hewlett Packard, is feeling the heat of the global recession as it announced its intention to axe 27,000 jobs worldwide - about 8% of its total workforce - within two and a half years.

Around 20,000 people work for HP in the UK, out of the 350,000 around the world. The job cuts are so the firm can save £2.2bn a year between now and the end of its financial year in 2014 - to fund its 'long-term health'. HP makes personal computers, printers and software and it intends to reinvest the savings it makes each year into that 'health' program. They say they need to reorganise and simplify what they're doing, especially in the light of huge popularity of smartphones and tablet computers.

HP said it's too early to pinpoint which specific locations, departments or levels of staff had been identified to go, but that no part of business would escape losses. They're planning to soften the blow for some people by offering early retirement to try and minimise the number of redundancies.