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Which Are the Largest Employers Globally?

The largest employer in the world is the United States Department of Defense, which has more than 3.2 million employees. The next-largest employer is the People's Liberation Army of China, with about 2.3 million employees, followed by Wal-Mart, with about 2.1 million employees. Seven of the world's 10 largest employers are run by governments, with Walmart, McDonald's and the Hon Hai Precision Industry Company — an electronics manufacturer in Taiwan — being the only exceptions.

More facts about large employers:

  • Other top-10 global employers include the China National Petroleum Company, the State Grid Corporation of China, the National Health Service (NHS) of England, Indian Railways and China Post Group, making four of the 10 largest employers located in China.

  • In the U.S., the largest employers after the Department of Defense, Walmart and McDonald's are United Parcel Service (UPS), Sears and Home Depot.

  • A full 1 percent of the U.S. population works for the Department of Defense. In the United Kingdom, more than 2.5 percent of the population works for the NHS.

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