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Largest employers in the world

  • Largest employers in the world

    When you think of some of the world’s most recognizable brands, what comes to mind? McDonald’s? Starbucks? Nike? Sure, all of those companies can be found in small towns in the Midwest and even on the streets of Budapest. But though those companies may have thousands of locations around the world, that doesn’t mean they employ the most workers.

    In the following slideshow, Stacker lists the 50 companies that employed the most people globally as of the end of the fiscal year 2018. The list includes both public and private employers, ranging from for-profit retail companies to citizen-serving government agencies. To create the list, Stacker used data from Statista released on July 31, 2019, and checked information from company websites, primary sources, and recent news articles.

    In the 21st century, China emerged as an economic giant and notches several companies on the list—companies that employ millions of total workers around the world. The United Kingdom earns a few mentions, as do the United States and Russia. When it comes to specific industries, Telecom companies have become major employers over the past two decades, but there are still a bunch of good, old-fashioned conglomerates that are always on the search for new blood.

    These companies didn’t become powerful by sheer luck. In some cases, factors such as war or government restrictions affected how future markets were shaped. Other businesses may have just struck while the iron was hot, achieving rapid growth in a relatively short period (a majority of companies on the list were founded within the past half-century).

    As for the biggest employer in the world? It may come as a surprise when you have names like Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs dominating business headlines, but you can never underestimate the impact small-town America plays on the global economy.

    Read on to see how many employees work for the world's biggest companies.

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  • #50. CK Hutchison Holdings

    - Total employees (2018): 300,000

    This conglomerate’s roots took shape in Hong Kong in the 1800s. Today, CK Hutchison Holdings has various arms in the telecom and retail industries, but it remains to be seen if the current political unrest in Hong Kong will affect the company’s future performance.

  • #49. UnitedHealth Group

    - Total employees (2018): 300,000

    UnitedHealth Group, based in Minnesota, offers health care services to customers in all 50 states. After a market dip, UnitedHealth rebounded recently. Soon, the provider will open up Medicare centers in Walgreens stores.

  • #48. China State Construction Engineering

    - Total employees (2018): 302,827

    This Beijing company has its reach in real estate development and investment, making it one of the largest construction companies in the world. China State Construction Engineering recently contributed to massive buildings in Africa, showing its impact on a worldwide level.

  • #47. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone

    - Total employees (2018): 303,351

    This Tokyo-based telecommunications giant is one of the biggest companies in Japan. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) is even looking into cybersecurity and autonomous vehicles, with an eye toward investing in Israel. That’s not all; NTT just invested $5.5 billion into power- distribution networks to supply electricity to hospitals and factories.

  • #46. Rosneft Oil

    - Total employees (2018): 308,000

    Rosneft claims to be the “the largest global public oil and gas corporation.” Founded and based in Moscow, Rosneft explores, appraises, produces, and sells oil around the world. Recently, Rosneft collaborated with Venezuelan companies affected by American sanctions, and even may expand to India.

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  • #45. Nestlé

    - Total employees (2018): 308,000

    Many Americans recognize Nestlé for its chocolate products, but this Swiss company grew into a world power across several industries. Gerber, Purina, and San Pellegrino are a few of the offerings under the Nestlé umbrella. However, Nestlé has come under fire for its bottled water practices, being accused of illegally drawing water from creeks.

  • #44. Samsung Electronics

    - Total employees (2018): 309,630

    Samsung is one of South Korea’s most well-known chaebols. A chaebol is a family-controlled conglomerate—think Hyundai or Doosan. Such conglomerates are influential throughout South Korean industry and even government. With its successful Galaxy smartphones, Samsung became a true rival to Apple.

  • #43. Bank of China

    - Total employees (2018): 310,119

    Founded in 1912, Bank of China served as China’s central bank until 1949. During the second half of the 20th century, the bank focused on foreign investment. Today, Bank of China is one of four state-owned banks in China and has major headquarters in Beijing and Hong Kong.

  • #42. Exor Group

    - Total employees (2018): 314,790

    Exor, based in the Netherlands, has investments in some of the most prestigious names worldwide. Ferrari, The Economist, and Juventus football club are just a few of the brands in Exor’s portfolio. Exor, which also is the top shareholder of Fiat Chrysler, may soon add Peugeot to its portfolio.

  • #41. Deutsche Bahn

    - Total employees (2018): 318,528

    German-based Deutsche Bahn is known for its fast and relatively inexpensive trains, although the rise of a budget bus industry has created some competition. Deutsche Bahn continues to grow, opening new training centers, but is experiencing some uncertainty as its chief financial officer reportedly will step down.

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