Posted at 03:33 PM ET, 09/12/2011

Department of Defense employs 1 percent of Americans

The Pentagon, which houses the Department of Defense. It was built in just 16 months, beginning in August 1941.  (Anonymous - AP)
A chart by the Economist of the world’s biggest employers in 2010 shows that governments do the lion’s share of the employing — seven of the publication’s top 10 are government-run.

The biggest employer is the United States’ very own Defense Department, which had 3.2 million people on its payroll last year. That number, the Economist points out, means that 1 percent of Americans work for DoD.

According to the DoD’s jobs Web site, 700,000 of those 3.2 million employees are civilians, and agencies and offices that employ them include the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Cold War Recognition Certificate, and Coast Guard Academy.

The next biggest employer on the Economist list behind DoD is the army of China, followed by Wal-mart, McDonald’s, China Petroleum Corporation, the State Grid Corporation of China, National Health Service of England, Indian Railways, China Post Group, and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Company.

By  |  03:33 PM ET, 09/12/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company