Each list shows the strengths of its respective economy. Tech dominates the U.S. and India, while you'll find automakers on the German list, mining and construction companies in Australia, retailers and luxury giants in the U.K. and France, and popular local brands in Brazil.
In the U.S., the top five companies are, in order, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce, and Uber, with Apple at No. 7. (For the record, and for the obvious reasons, LinkedIn removed itself from the list, along with Microsoft, which acquired LinkedIn last year.) Indeed, tech is strong through the entire 50-company list, with companies like Dell (No. 14), Workday (15), Twitter (17), Tableau Software (30) and DropBox (42) all appearing.
After tech, the industry with the most representation on the U.S. list is entertainment, holding three of the top ten spots, with Time Warner, Disney and Comcast coming in at Nos. 8, 9, and 10. Netflix shows up at No. 12. Auto makes an appearance at No. 6 with Tesla.
The rest of the list features a mixture of finance, consulting, and real estate, with McKinsey & Co. at No. 13, for instance, CBRE at No. 18, and Visa at No. 19. The lone retailer in the top 20 is sportswear's edgy new kid on the block, Under Armour, showing up at No. 16. And health care, which comprises nearly 30 percent of the U.S. GDP, doesn't show up until medical device maker Stryker, at No. 23.
As for market performance, most of the companies on the list are doing fine, thank you, with notable high-flyers No. 49 Square, whose stock has gone up 116 percent in the past year, Tesla, with shares up 57 percent, and Tableau Software, up 26 percent. But financial success doesn't seem to be an operative factor in the mind of job seekers.
If you had invested $10,000 a year ago in an equal-weighted portfolio of the 40 public companies on the U.S. Top Companies list, you'd be sitting on $11,589 now. The same amount invested in an S&P 500 index fund would be worth about $100 more, or $11,698.