Scoop: With 8,400 cuts in 2008, Merck occupied the top spot in last year's layoff report. This year's Merck layoff story doesn't differ much from Pfizer/Wyeth. Merck announced earlier this year that it would buy Schering Plough for a hefty $41.1 billion, and Merck CEO Richard Clark said that 15 percent of the companies combined workforces would be cut. With a total workforce of 106,000, that adds up to about 16,000 workers. Staffers in Ireland and England, in Philadelphia and New Jersey will feel the brunt of the layoffs. There's minimal overlap between the two companies in Pennsylvania, but New Jerseyans aren't so lucky; both companies maintain their headquarters in the state.