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1. Wal-Mart Stores

Employees: 2.1 million*
Revenue per employee: $199,500
Profit per employee: $7,100

Wal-Mart Stores is the world’s largest retailer with more than 9,600 stores in 28 countries.

The company was founded in 1962 by Arkansas businessman Sam Walton. The Walton family remains one of the richest families in the world, with a 48 percent stake in the company.

Wal-Mart’s workforce grew nearly 17 percent from 1.8 million employees in 2005 to 2.1 million in 2010. Over that time, the company has been able to generate high revenues and profits per employee. Its annual revenue per employee has gone up by nearly $27,000 compared to 2005, while profit per employee has also gone up by $900.

Out of its 2.1 million employees worldwide, about 1.4 million work in the U.S. Outside of the U.S., Wal-Mart is also the largest private employer in Mexico and one of the largest in Canada. International revenues amounted to $109 billion for the same period.

With more employees than any other private company in the world, Wal-Mart has also faced scrutiny from labor groups. It's been criticized for its strong anti-union policies. The company says its employees earn an average annual wage of between $10 and $12 per hour. But some local politicians and community organizers have protested the opening of new Wal-Mart stores, arguing that it depresses wages and hurts other businesses.

*Includes part-time employees

Photo: Getty Images