New York: At a time when the economic crisis is forcing companies to reduce costs and cut jobs, retail giant Wal-Mart has emerged as the biggest employer in the world with a whopping 2.1 million people working for it last year, according to the Fortune magazine.
The Fortune Global 500 list ranks Wal-Mart Stores as the top company in terms of employee strength at the end of 2008.
After Wal-Mart, China National Petroleum is the second biggest employer with 1.61 million employees in 2008 followed by the State Grid with 1.53 million employees in the third place, followed by the US Postal Service with 765,088 employees in the fourth place, followed by Sinopec with 639,690 employees in the fifth place.
However, Wal-Mart has fallen to the third place in the overall list of 500 elite companies in the world this year as compared to its numero uno position in the 2008 list in terms of revenues.
“In 2008, Wal-Mart racked up $30 billion in additional sales -- the equivalent of adding the annual sales of a Fortune 75 company. That growth was fueled by double-digit sales increases at international stores (US sales only grew 6%). Wal-Mart China alone added 28 stores over the year,” says the magazine about Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart’s 2009 prospects remain promising as shoppers battered by the recession shop for value, it added. The retailer has seen 7.2% increase in profit at $405,607 in 2008 as compared to the previous year.
Other companies ranking amongst the top ten employers in this year’s list are China Telecommunications in the sixth place, France’s Carrefour in the seventh place, Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry in the eighth place, Russian Gazprom in the ninth and German Deutsche Post at the tenth place.
Interestingly, troubled financial major Citigroup has also been included in the top employers list and has been ranked at the 26th place.
Other leading firms in the top employers list compiled by Fortune include IBM (16th place),Volkswagen (20th place), General Electric (28th place), Hewlett Packard (29th place), and ArcelorMittal (31st place) amongst others.