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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ohio Is Wally's World: Wal-Mart Now State's Largest Employer

COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Not long before Gov. Ted Strickland was sworn into office in January, outgoing Republicans compiled data that ranked Ohio's biggest private sector employers. Wal-Mart finished way atop the list. With some 50,000 Ohioans on its payroll, the discount chain now dwarfs every other enterprise operating in the state.

"Wal-Mart (1) with approximately 160 retail operations and multiple distribution centers has the largest employment headcount (50,000) of Ohio's Pirvate Sector Employers. While many of its employees are part time, Wal-Mart's presence is felt in every community across the state."

That is the word from the Ohio Department of Development's office of strategic research, which filed its report last December. Nothing in Ohio approaches the size of Wal-Mart. To get an idea of its sheer enormity: Add everybody working at Honda, the Japanese automaker with extensive operations across the state, to everybody working at the Cleveland Clinic Health System, and the total about equals Wal-Mart's. Tokyo-based Honda is Ohio's 12th largest employer; the Clinic is No. 2.

The state report is HERE. What is interesting about Ohio now is that not a single manufacturer remains in the top five in a state that prospered on a smokestack economy. Ohio State University, No. 5, has more employees than any automaker, including General Motors Corp, No. 7; Honda, No. 12, and Ford, No. 18.

Here are the Top 10:

1.Wal-Mart, 50,000, Bentonville, Ark., retail general merchandise.
2. Cleveland Clinic Health System 34,800, Cleveland, health.
3. Kroger Co., 34,130, Cincinnati, retail food stores.
4. University Hospitals Health System, 25,000, Cleveland, health.
5. Ohio State University, 24,400, Columbus, education and health.
6. Catholic Healthcare Partners, 23,000, Cincinnati, health.
7. General Motors Corp., 19,300, Detroit, manufacture motor vehicles.
8. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 18,250, Dayton, government Air Force base.
9. General Electric Co., 17,000, Fairfield, Conn., manufacture electrical/aerospace equipment.
9. JP Morgan Case & Co., 17,000, New York, finance bank.
11. Meijer Inc., 16,500, Grand Rapids, Mi., retail general merchandise.

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