Wal-Mart Is the Largest Employer in 19 States

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Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is the largest employer in the United States, with 1.4 million workers, about 1% of the country’s total worker population of 140 million. Its 2016 fiscal revenue was $81.4 billion for Walmart U.S. and $32.7 billion for Sam’s Club.

According to a 24/7 Wall St. analysis of the largest employer in each state, Wal-Mart is at the top of the list in 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Notably, the states are spread wide geographically. Wal-Mart’s workforce dominance is not in one cluster of states.

The list’s methodology:

To determine the largest employer in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed employment figures for nonprofits and private and publicly held companies from company press releases, government data, business journals, local media reports, as well as statements from company representatives. For the purposes of our analysis, we treated state government employers like public universities as independent organizations, in keeping with how states frequently identify and compare company headcounts. Military bases were excluded from the rank. In most cases, employee counts for the various colleges, laboratories, and medical centers falling under a single university system were combined. This was because these systems frequently attribute employees from the university and medical centers together. However, when a spokesperson from the medical centers or universities identified the organizations as distinct employers, they were counted separately.


Since state worker employment levels, and those of state educational institutions, probably do not fluctuate wildly, Wal-Mart is unlikely to be topped as the largest employer in most of the 19 states.