The Largest Employer in Every State
Walmart is by far the largest employer in the United States, employing over 1.5 million Americans. However, other companies are beginning to close in on Walmart’s lofty headcount. Of note is the country’s second largest employer, Amazon, which thanks to rampant growth and the acquisition of businesses such as Whole Foods, added 150,000 workers last year alone. The company now employs over 560,000 Americans.
Most state economies are relatively diverse, yet it is not uncommon for a single industry to have an outsized impact on a state’s economy and labor market. In many cases, a single company employs a significant share of the state’s workforce.
State governments tend to be the largest employers in each state. There are about 22.3 million government employees nationwide. In contrast, Walmart — by far the nation’s largest private employer — employs about 1.5 million full-time workers in the United States. When excluding public administrative bodies, Walmart is often the largest employer in a state, but a number of other organizations — often a state university or hospital network — also emerge as the biggest employer on the state level.
The size of these companies varies considerably. In Alaska, the Providence Health & Services network of hospitals employs around 4,000 people. In Washington state, Boeing employs 18 times as many people. In Texas, Walmart employed 168,403 at last count.
Based on the most recent available full- and part-time employee counts, these are the largest employers in each of the 50 states.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this piece listed MaineHealth as the largest employer in the state of Maine. In fact, the largest employer in the state is the EMHS network of hospitals.