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2016 Houston’s Top Employers

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The following is a list of Houston’s largest employers as of June 18,2016, based upon the data supplied by the Houston Chronicle. What’s surprising about this list is how the top ten only include two companies in the oil & gas industry. Many of them include a large percentage of people in the service industry making minimum wage, or a wage just slightly above it.

For instance, it might seem that having 24,108 employees at Memorial Hermann is good (showing we have diversified since the 1980s) until you stop and think how many of those people are actually doctors, nurses, lab technicians, etc. Many of them make only a slighter higher wage than if they worked at Wal-Mart ($10-$15 per hour).

This list has changed significantly in the past two years. The percentage of oil & gas companies making the the top 30 were a lot higher in 2014 but the change is no surprise to anyone who lives in Houston and has ever drove by a gas station.

If there is anything to gleam from this data, we can find two things.

First, the number of people a company employees is not as important as the type of jobs they are. This could be going out on a limb but from an economic perspective 1,000 oil & gas jobs that pay $60,000+ per year is better than 3,000 Wal-Mart jobs that pay $21,000+ per year (most likely less since Wal-Mart’s full time schedule is 34 hours per week). You would think that the healthcare industry would be the next best option but it isn’t as well paying as people think, most often beating out less “glorious” service jobs by a thin margin.

Second, and we will talk about this in another post – this somewhat reinforces the reason why you should always support small local businesses. They are your city’s backbone and, though far less talked about than Fortune 500 companies, keep everything moving.  According to the SBA, 99.7% (as of 2012) of all private-sector employers are small businesses and and 75% of those small businesses are micro-businesses. With Houston having approximately 122,517 businesses, we are no exception, in fact, we are above the national average, ranking #9 Nationwide. If you think our local economy is a tad bit sluggish now, imagine if we didn’t have those 100,000+ small companies, like us, open for business. Our city has always had a high entrepreneurial spirit and that is one of the main drivers that has always kept us going, compared with other major metropolitan areas, even during a downturn. So when you have the option of going with a major chain or a local Houston-based company, and the costs are not too far off, remember which company is most likely to keep those dollars in your community.

Top Houston Employers 1-10

1. Walmart 37,000
2. Memorial Hermann Health System 24,108
3. H-E-B 23,732
4. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center 21,086
5. McDonald’s Corp 20,918
6. Houston Methodist 20,000
7. Kroger 16,000
8. United Airlines 14,941
9. Schlumberger 12,069
10. Shell Oil Co. 11,507

Top Houston Employers 11-30

11. Exxon Mobil Corp. 11,000
12. Texas Children’s Hospital 10,992
13. HCA 10,830
14. Landry’s 10,800
15. UTMB Health 9,928 employes
16. Harris Health System 9,174
17. National Oilwell Varco 8, 960
18. UT Health Science Center at Houston 8,220
19. Chevron 8,000
20. The Home Depot 7,880
21. Fluor Corp. 7,705
22. Baylor College of Medicine 7,705
23. CHI St.Luke’s Health 7,198 24. JPMorgan Chase 6,850
25. Whataburger 6,620
26. Subway 6,168
27. Academy Sports + Outdoors 5,800
28. Baker Hughes 5,695
29. S&B Engineers and Constructors 5,500
30. Target Corp. 5,405

Top Houston Employers 31-40

31. The dow Chemical Co. 5,400
32. Centerpoint Energy 5,043
33. BP America 5,000
34. Wood Group 4,892
35. Michael E. DeBakery VA Medical Center 4,600
36. Halliburton 4,500
37. LyondellBasell 4,400
38. Fiesta Mart 4,400
39. CVS Health 4,211
40. Wells Fargo 3,800

Top Houston Employers 41-50

41. Sam’s Club 3,700
42. Southwest Airlines 3,673
43. CB&I 3,500
44. Lewis Food Town 3,500
45. KBR 3,300
46. Randalls Food Markets 3,233
47. FMC Technologies 3,200
48. Sysco Corp. 3,037
49. Tenet Healthcare Corp. 3,032
50. Phillips 66 3,024

Top Houston Employers 51-40

51. AIG 3,000
52. ConocoPhillips 3,000
53. Kinder Morgan 2,980
54. Enterprise Products Co. 2,974
55. Chevron Philips Cehmical Co. 2,843
56. Luby’s 2,609
57. Bank of America 2,600
58. Comcast 2,600
59. Brinker International 2,599
60. Goodman Manufacturing Co. 2,539

Top Houston Employers 61-70

61. Occidental Petroleum 2,500
62. NRG Energy 2,500
63. American National Insurance Co. 2,388
64. Weatherford 2,384
65. Brock Group 2,350
66. Lowe’s Cos. 2,284
67. United Health Group 2,250
68. Aon 2,165
69. Jacobs 4,237
70. Union Pacific Railroad 2,008

Top Houston Employers 71-80

71. Union Pacific Railroad 2,008
72. Austin Industrial 1,939
73. Amegy Bank 1,932
74. JCPenney 1,904
75. Gulf States Toyota 1,900
76. Accenture 1,870
77. PwC 1,842
78. Air Liquide USA 1,728
79. Williams Bros.Construction Co. 1,710
80. EY 1,705

Top Houston Employers 81-90

81. State Stores 1,663
82. Service Corporation International 1,653
83. Whole Foods Market 1, 627
84. Kohl’s Corp. 1,600
85. Waste Management 1,567
86. Emerson 1,500
87. Hess Corp. 1,321
88. KPMG 1,251
89. Nabors 1,250
90. Ecolab 1,179

Top Houston Employers 91-100

91. Stewart Title 1,160 1,142
92. igloo Products Corp. 1,142
93. BBVA Compass 1,100
94. Tellepsen 1,100
95. Universal Plant Services 1,081
96. Spectra Energy Corp. 1,077
97. Silver Eagle Distributors 1,053
98. Direct Energy 1,051
99. Total 1,000
100. Calpine 997