If you have driven the nation’s highways recently or spent any time in downtown America, you have seen the “We’re hiring” signs in front of stores, office buildings, supermarkets, and warehouses. At many of America’s largest public employers, hiring is brisk. (These are states with the largest drop in unemployment.)
To identify the 100 largest public employers in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed total employment figures at the top 1,000 companies from Fortune 500. Worldwide employment for 2020 and 2021 as well as revenue figures for 2021 also came from Fortune.
The U.S. job market seems very strong. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.6% in March, and the number of job openings in the U.S. stood at a near-record 11.3 million at the end of February, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the top 10 public employers in the United States, eight increased hiring from 2020 to 2021. (These are states where job openings are surging.)
Many of America’s biggest employers are recovering from the pandemic-induced job reductions. Certain sectors, such as home improvement with companies like Home Depot and Lowe’s and delivery services, including UPS and FedEx, have seen a surge in employment.
America’s biggest employer, Walmart, added 100,000 workers to raise its total employees to 2.3 million in 2021. Walmart is the largest employer in 19 states, including every Southern state except North Carolina.
E-commerce powerhouse Amazon, founded in 1994, boosted employment by more than 62% to about 1.3 million workers in 2021. The Seattle-based company employs most of them in Washington state and California.
Companies in customer-facing sectors such as hospitality (Marriott, Hilton), retail (Macy’s, Best Buy), airlines (Delta, United), and food (Darden, Yum) that were hurt the most during the pandemic and lowered headcount but still made the list.
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