Top 10 Largest Fortune 500 Employers in the U.S.
The 10 largest employers in Fortune’s list of the 500 most profitable U.S. companies collectively employed around 7 million people in 2022. That means only 10 companies were the main source of income for roughly 4% of the total U.S. civilian labor force, which stood at 164 million people in September according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. I should not need to point out how incredibly important these companies are to the U.S. economy.
Below are the top 10 largest employers in the Fortune 500 as of 2022, ranked in descending order.
10. UnitedHealth Group
350,000 employees | +20,000 from 2021
UnitedHealthcare, part of UnitedHealth Group, is the largest health insurance company in the U.S. by total members as well as revenue. The Minnesota-based company, which reported revenues of $80.9 billion in the third quarter, employed approximately 350,000 people this year.
9. Berkshire Hathaway
372,000 employees | +12,000 from 2021
Berkshire Hathaway began its life in the 19th century as a cotton mill. Under the direction of legendary investor Warren Buffett, the company has grown into a veritable empire with many well-known brands under its umbrella, including Kraft Heinz, Duracell, Dairy Queen and, of course, GEICO Auto Insurance. In 2022, Berkshire Hathaway employed 372,000 across its dozens of subsidiaries, according to Forbes.
383,000 employees | +34,000 from 2021
At the end of 2021, there were more than 15,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. alone, including company-operated stores and licensed stores. That translates into millions of cups of coffee sold every day. The Seattle-based company, which recently named former PepsiCo executive Laxman Narasimhan as its next CEO, employed over 383,000 in 2022, an increase of about 34,000 compared to 2021.
7. United Parcel Service
400,945 employees | -7,310 from 2021
Founded in Seattle in 1907, United Parcel Service, better known as UPS, is today headquartered in Atlanta. Every day, the company handles more than 25 million packages and documents on average in more than 220 countries and territories. UPS also owns and/or leases some 585 aircraft in its global fleet, which is more than most passenger airline companies have. More than 400,000 were employed by UPS in 2022.
420,000 employees | -45,000 from 2021
Kroger is the fourth largest U.S. food retailer by sales following Walmart, Amazon and Costco. The Cincinnati-based grocer operates over 2,726 stores in 35 states. This month, Kroger announced plans to merge with rival Alberton’s, which (if approved by regulators) would create the second largest U.S. supermarket after Walmart. The company employed 420,000 people in 2022, according to Forbes.
450,000 employees | +41,000 from 2021
Formally known as Dayton’s, Target opened its first store in Minneapolis in 1962. It wasn’t until 2000 that the parent company, Dayton-Hudson Corp., officially changed its name to Target Corp, after which its NYSE ticker became TGT. Target is the seventh largest U.S. retailer, having done $104.6 billion in sales in 2021. It employed about 450,000 people this year.
484,000 employees | +66,000 from 2021
FedEx is the world’s largest less-than-truckload (LTL) freight carrier, with more than 2,200 FedEx Office locations, 120,000 ground vehicles and nearly 700 aircraft. Founded as Federal Express in 1971, the company was originally conceived as a specialized courier service for the Federal Reserve, with the ability to deliver checks and other documents between bank branches overnight. According to Forbes, 484,000 people were employed by FedEx.
3. Home Depot
490,600 employees | -14,200 from 2021
Home Depot is the world’s biggest home improvement retailer, with 2,300 store locations across North America. In 2021, the company generated a massive $151.2 billion in revenue. This year, nearly half a million people were employed by the orange-tinted box retailer.
1,608,000 employees | +310,000 from 2021
As many people are aware, Amazon started out as a bookseller since, according to founder Jeff Bezos, there are more items in the book category than any other category. Today, a whopping three quarters of the company’s operating profit is generated by Amazon Web Services (AWS), its business cloud services platform that was launched in 2006. Amazon employed a remarkable 1.6 million people in 2022, roughly 310,000 more than in 2021.
2,300,000 employees | +0 from 2021
The largest retailer in the world, Walmart did over half a trillion dollars in global sales in 2021. The Arkansas-based company operates more than 11,000 stores across 25 different countries. It also employees hundreds of thousands more people than its chief rival, Amazon. In 2022, approximately 2.3 million were employed by the retail behemoth, making it the largest employer on this list.
All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content. Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of (09/30/22): United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp.
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September 25, 2023Learn More