Workers assemble Volkswagen AG camper vans in Brazil.
Photograph by Paulo Fridman — Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Scott DeCarlo
November 12, 2014

Global organizations have left the recession behind as they focus on positioning themselves aggressively for growth—and building a workforce big enough to sustain their business while staving off the competition is integral to future success.

Fortune has compiled its first-ever list of the world’s 10 biggest employers among publicly listed companies, based on latest fiscal-year-end figures from FactSet Research Systems, annual reports, and other publicly available information. In the cases where companies provide a specific breakdown of part-time and full-time employee figures, we count part-time employees as half of a “full-time equivalent” worker. If companies do not provide a breakdown, all employees are considered full-time.

On our list, size matters: Of the top 10 employers, six had revenues above $100 billion in their most recent fiscal year. These global giants hail from a variety of industries including retail, business services, energy, and banking, some of which are more labor-intensive than others, thus dictating a need for more employees. The companies are based throughout the world, representing six countries; China is the home base for three of them, followed by the U.S. and the U.K., each with two on the list. We included efficiency data for these companies, measured by revenue per employee based on 2013 annual figures. A few of these firms may surprise you, while others are well known for their size and reach.


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