The largest private employer in the United States is none Walmart, the big-box store retailer founded in Arkansas in 1962.
Today, Walmart employs 1.5 million people in the United States, and 2.2 million employees worldwide. Comparatively, the U.S. government employs more than 2 million people.
Walmart promoted about 200,000 of its workers in 2019 and company officials said 75 percent of its store management team members started as hourly associates.
Walmart's starting hourly pay has been $11 since 2018. Meanwhile, its e-commerce rival Amazon has a minimum wage of $15 an hour and, before the coronavirus pandemic, it was expected to employ nearly one million people by end of 2020.
Walmart said in April it was hiring 50,000 new associates in mostly temporary positions, including delivery drivers.
“While many of these associates want temporary employment that serves as a bridge during this time, we also expect others to convert to permanent roles,” the company said in a press release.
After announcing its initial hiring spree in March, Walmart was hiring up to 5,000 people a day.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon started working at Walmart as a teen. Just like Walmart, McMillon can trace his early days back to Arkansas. At 17, he got his first job with the company: loading trucks at a northwest Arkansas distribution center.
Now, the 53-year-old has been head honcho at Walmart, which brought in more than $500 billion last year, since 2014.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.