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A State-By-State Look At America’s Largest Employers

A State-By-State Look At America’s Largest Employers

By Ryan Velez

Whether you are out of work or looking to make a new career start, one of the first things professionals will tell you is to try and gauge the job market, keeping in mind who is currently hiring on top of what type of job you want. Marketwatch reports that Olivet Nazarene University has put out an infographic that may be a great start: showing the biggest employers in all 50 states. Some of the major categories included retailers, universities, and healthcare companies.

“Here in the United States of America, many of us are told that we can be whatever we want to be. But do you ever wonder what most of us end up becoming? Where do most Americans work — in business, healthcare, manufacturing or retail? And for whom?” the university said in a report. While some of the results may not be huge surprises, the report from the Bourbonnais, Illinois-based university found some distinct regional trends that may be of note for those looking to relocate.

For one, the West Coast and Pacific Northwest carry the crown for the most diverse set of major employers. These range from the University of California being the top employer in California to MGM Grand in Nevada and Boeing Co. in Washington. On the East Coast, especially going into New England, healthcare is the top industry, dominating in Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Another notable employer that may fly under the radar is the military. In several states, including Hawaii, Alaska, Virginia, and Nebraska, active duty military outnumbers private employers. There are also a few outliers, like supermarket company Wakefern in New Jersey or tech company Intel in Oregon.

However, the largest employer in the nation is mega-retail chain Wal-Mart, bolstered by being the top employer in nearly every Southern state. Having 850,000 people on its payroll across 19 states, it’s clear that Wal-Mart is a major job creator, and this is only likely to grow considering a recent announcement that they will create another 10,000 jobs this year.

At the same time, though, critics of Wal-Mart may find this statistic more alarming than anything else. Many are quick to point out that the vast majority of part-time retail jobs associated with Wal-Mart pay far less than some of the other employees on this list, as well as having the minimal upward mobility to reward hard workers. Indeed, some of the states where Wal-Mart is on top, including West Virginia and Mississippi, rank among the poorest in the nation.

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