Who are the World's Biggest Employers?

June 24, 2015
Well, if you're a U.S. taxpayer, you're funding the biggest employer by far.

Who are world's biggest employers? Well, if you're a U.S. taxpayer, you're funding the biggest employer by far - the U.S. Department of Defense, with 3.2 million employees, according to data compiled by the World Economic Forum.

The U.S. also leads the world with the largest private employer - Walmart, which has 2.2 million employees globally and 1.3 million in the United States according to the company's website. Walmart operates 11,000 stores in 28 countries.

The biggest and best know manufacturer on the list is Hon Hai Precision Factory (IW 1000/24), better known as Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer famous for producing Apple's massively successful iPhones and iPads. Foxconn's workforce of 1.2 million generated revenue of $136 billion and operating income of $4.6 billion in 2014.

By comparison, General Electric (IW 1000/20), which operates in more than 170 countries, has 307,000 employees. GE had revenue of $148.9 billion and net income of $15.3 billion in 2014.

Ford Motor Co. (IW 1000/25), an icon of American manufacturing, has 224,000 employees and operates 90 facilities around the world. Ford had sales of $144 billion and net income of $3.1 billion in 2014.

About the Author

Steve Minter | Steve Minter, Executive Editor

Focus: Leadership, Global Economy, Energy

Call: 216-931-9281

Follow on Twitter: @SgMinterIW

An award-winning editor, Executive Editor Steve Minter covers leadership, global economic and trade issues and energy, tackling subject matter ranging from CEO profiles and leadership theories to economic trends and energy policy. As well, he supervises content development for editorial products including the magazine,, research and information products, and conferences.

Before joining the IW staff, Steve was publisher and editorial director of Penton Media’s EHS Today, where he was instrumental in the development of the Champions of Safety and America’s Safest Companies recognition programs.

Steve received his B.A. in English from Oberlin College. He is married and has two adult children.

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