DENVER, CO — At one time, cars, oil and steel fueled the U.S. economy. But today, retail, hospitals and universities dominate the business landscape.
Most state economies are pretty diverse, with state governments tending to be the largest employers with more than 22 million workers across the country. But for some, just one or two employers play a significantly larger role in the health of the local economy and job force than any other.
In Colorado, Denver International Airport is the single largest employer, according to a new report by the financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall St.
Colorado Largest employer: Denver International Airport Employee headcount: 35,000Industry: Airports
For 42 percent of states, Walmart reigns supreme.
The retail titan is the largest employer in 21 states, including key battleground states such as Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Virginia. With more than 1.5 million American workers, Walmart is by far the country’s largest private employer and it dominates a large swath of the country, particularly the South and Midwest.
In nine states, universities employ the most people. Such is the case in California, where the University of California has nearly 200,000 employees.
In 15 states, the largest employer is actually a hospital system. This is true in Alaska where Providence Health & Services employs around 4,000 people and in Massachusetts where Partners Healthcare has 68,000 workers.
The online retail giant Amazon, the second largest employer in the U.S., has more than 560,000 workers in the country.
Patch reporter Dan Hampton contributed to this report.
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