In the midst of this, some of the world's largest private-sector companies in Western and emerging markets aren't cutting jobs, in fact they are adding to their payrolls.
We've put together a list of the world's 10 largest employers among publicly listed companies based on figures from Reuters, global stock indexes, company websites, annual reports, and other publicly available information. We've used full-time employees, except in a few cases where the business depends largely on part-time workers. In such cases, we have clearly indicated that the number includes part-time workers.
The world's largest employers come from a variety of industries such as retail, telecommunications, energy, and banking. We looked at how efficient these companies were with their labor, and calculated the companies' revenue per employee and profit per employee figures based on their 2010 annual earnings. Some of these organizations might surprise you, while others are famous for their size and global reach.
Click ahead to find out which companies are the world's biggest employers (among publicly-listed companies).
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