The top Australian companies by number of employees are among the world’s largest private employers. With tens or even hundreds of thousands of employees, Australian corporations employ national and foreign workers to conduct their day-to-day operations in Australia, Asia-Pacific, and beyond.
Australian companies are holding their ground in the global competition for customers, and many of them are among the world’s largest non-governmental employers. Though the number of employees is not exactly correlated with revenues and market capitalization, many of the largest Australian multinationals are also among those that have the largest headcounts.
But staff skills-level and structure vary greatly among industries: certain industries like retail and restaurants require a lot of low-skilled workforces, others like mining rely upon local workforces which depends on each country’s income level, whereas financial services or engineering require a lot of highly-skilled employees. Thus many companies rank very high in headcount but are not always worth as much as others in terms of market capitalization.
Just like in other countries, the list of top Australian employers proves that the retail industry especially requires large numbers of employees. The presence of retail companies in 3 of the top 5 employers highlights the important weight of retail for Australian employment.
A number of other industries require a number of customer-facing employees outside of retail, particularly in the financial and healthcare sectors. Among the most important ones in Australia, we can also highlight the restaurants and engineering and construction industries. Other key employing industries include mining and metals, energy and oil & gas, telecoms, and manufacturing.
Most of the companies in the following list are multinationals, and therefore also have large portions of their staff working in other countries to serve local customers or work remotely for Australian operations. In any case, for your next career move, anticipating partners’ or competitors’ activities, knowing what Australian employers are doing can bring a lot of key insights.
For more information on the largest Australian companies, download our ASX 200 companies Excel file containing the complete list of the 200 Australian companies that constitute the S&P/ASX 200 index, together with extensive business, market, financial, and digital information on each company. For even more data on the largest Australian companies, download our Excel file on the All Ordinaries companies (500 companies).
List of the top 30 largest Australian employers globally by number of employees
To give you more perspective on the largest Australia-based companies employing the largest workforces, details about the thirty largest public companies that hire the largest number of workers globally have been listed hereafter. Each company is detailed with presentations of its sector, industry, its worldwide full-time employees, activities, market capitalization, a direct link to its website, logo, and stock symbol.
Remark that this list only includes companies: no public service or government agency was included, even though some of them might also employ large workforces.
Shortcuts to each employer
To facilitate your browsing in this long list, here are quick links to go directly to the details of any of the top 30 Australian employers worldwide. Be sure to also check the Top 10 global Australian employers’ summary after the list!
Healius Limited is a health care company managing ambulatory care centers, laboratories, medical imaging centers, day hospitals and fertility treatments facilities. It operates more than 2000 pathology diagnostic facilities, 15 day hospitals, and 130 imaging centers across Australia.
Website: healius.com.au – Market Cap.: C$2.5 Billion – Stock symbol: HLS
Computershare Limited is a multinational transfer agent and investor services company. Operating in more than 20 countries, it provides stock registration and transfer services to companies listed on stock markets, technology services for stock exchanges, investor services for shareholders and employee share plan management.
Website: computershare.com – Market Cap.: C$8 Billion – Stock symbol: CPU
JB Hi-Fi is a retail chain of stores dedicated to electronics and entertainment consumer goods, including video games, movies, music and software, hardware electronics and electrical home appliances, mobile phones and more. Founded in 1974, JB Hi-Fi now operates more than 300 stores across Australia and New Zealand, as well as through its e-commerce website.
Website: jbhifi.com.au – Market Cap.: C$5.9 Billion – Stock symbol: JBH
Orica Limited is a world-leading commercial explosives and blasting systems company. Serving the surface metal and coal extraction, underground mining and construction, construction, quarrying, and oil and gas industries, Orica provides explosive, sodium cyanide for gold extraction, and ground support services for mining and tunneling.
Website: orica.com – Market Cap.: C$5.8 Billion – Stock symbol: ORI
Suncorp Group Limited is a finance, insurance, and banking corporation. Founded in 1902, Suncorp is one of the largest general insurance companies in Australia, also operating a mid-size bank. It has operations in both Australia and New Zealand.
Website: suncorpgroup.com.au – Market Cap.: C$13.1 Billion – Stock symbol: SUN
Collins Foods Limited is a food service retail outlets operating company. It is engaged in the management and franchising of Sizzler, KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in with more than 250 restaurants in Australia, and more than 50 restaurants across Germany, the Netherlands, Thailand and Japan.
Website: collinsfoods.com – Market Cap.: C$1.2 Billion – Stock symbol: CKF
Ansell Limited is a manufacturing company primarily involved in protective industrial and medical gloves. Tracing its origin to 1893, Ansell develops, manufactures, and markets a range of gloves, masks, protective equipment and safety devices for the daily use of more than 10 million workers around the world in the industrial, healthcare, and life sciences sectors.
Website: ansell.com – Market Cap.: C$5 Billion – Stock symbol: ANN
South32 is a multinational diversified mining and metals company. Created from BHP Billiton (former name of BHP Group), South32 produces bauxite, alumina, aluminum, energy and metallurgical coal, manganese, nickel, silver, lead, and zinc. It operates in Australia, Southern Africa, and South America.
Website: south32.net – Market Cap.: C$13.6 Billion – Stock symbol: S32
BlueScope Steel Limited is a steel producer. Relying upon resources coming in from New Zealand, Pacific Islands, North America, and Asia, BlueScope provides steel slabs, hot-rolled coils, steel plates, automotive and galvanized steel and iron, aluminum-zinc alloys, coated steel, and pre-painted steel.
Website: bluescope.com – Market Cap.: C$10.1 Billion – Stock symbol: BSL
ALS Limited is a company dedicated to testing, inspection, certification, and verification services. Operating in more than 60 countries around the world, ALS is involved in a number of business areas, including life sciences, monitoring environmental, food and pharmaceuticals, electronics, and consumer products, commodities testing for the mining industry, and industrial diagnostics and services for the energy, resources, transportation and infrastructure sectors.
Website: alsglobal.com – Market Cap.: C$4.7 Billion – Stock symbol: ALQ
Macquarie Group Limited is a multinational independent investment bank and financial services company. Employing more than 14,000 staff in 25 countries, Macquarie is the world’s largest infrastructure asset manager and top-ranked mergers and acquisitions advisor in Australia. It also manages more than A$ 495 billion in assets.
Website: macquarie.com – Market Cap.: C$55.1 Billion – Stock symbol: MQG
Qantas Airways is the national carrier of Australia. Founded in 1920, Qantas is the largest airline in Australia by fleet size, number of international flights, and number of international destinations.
Website: qantas.com – Market Cap.: C$9.6 Billion – Stock symbol: QAN
CSL Limited is a biotechnology company providing products to treat and prevent serious human medical conditions. CSL is involved in the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of a wide range of products including blood plasma derivatives, vaccines, antivenom, and cell culture reagents for medical and genetic research and manufacturing applications.
Website: csl.com.au – Market Cap.: C$119.7 Billion – Stock symbol: CSL
Telstra Corporation Limited, simply known as Telstra, the largest telecommunications company in Australia. It builds and operates telecommunications networks and markets products and services for voice, mobile, internet access, and pay television.
Website: telstra.com.au – Market Cap.: C$40.4 Billion – Stock symbol: TLS
National Australia Bank, commonly known and branded as NAB, is a multinational bank. Heavily present in Australia through business and personal banking, direct banking through the internet, and financial services, NAB is also very present in New Zealand and in other countries of Asia.
Website: nab.com.au – Market Cap.: C$86.1 Billion – Stock symbol: NAB
BHP Group Limited is the Australian part of the Anglo-Australian multinational mining, metals, and petroleum corporation that is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and a top constituent of the FTSE index. BHP is involved in the exploration, production, and processing of minerals, especially coal, iron ore, copper, and manganese ore, and the exploration, production, and refining of hydrocarbons.
Website: bhp.com – Market Cap.: C$230.9 Billion – Stock symbol: BHP
Cimic Group Limited is a multinational construction and civil engineering contractor. Tracing its origins to 1899, Cimic Group is engaged in a number of engineering-led construction, mining, and services projects for the telecommunications, engineering and infrastructure, building and property, mining and resources, and environmental services industries in Australia, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.
Website: cimic.com.au – Market Cap.: C$5.6 Billion – Stock symbol: CIM
Westpac Banking Corporation, commonly known as Westpac, is a bank and provider of financial services. Founded in 1817, Westpac now gathers more than 14 million customers in five divisions: consumer banking, commercial and business banking, wealth management, institutional banking, and Westpac New Zealand.
Website: westpac.com.au – Market Cap.: C$88.6 Billion – Stock symbol: WBC
Sonic Healthcare Limited is a medical company specializing in diagnostics services. It provides services in pathology/laboratory medicine and imaging/radiology. Having grown through international acquisitions, Sonic Healthcare now operates in Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Ireland
Website: sonichealthcare.com – Market Cap.: C$16.9 Billion – Stock symbol: SHL
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, commonly called ANZ, is a multinational bank. The third-largest bank in Australia by market capitalization, ANZ is the largest bank in New Zealand, and it is also present in 34 other nations.
Website: anz.com.au – Market Cap.: C$80.4 Billion – Stock symbol: ANZ
Founded in 1911, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, abbreviated CBA or CommBank, is a multinational bank providing services in retail, business, and institutional banking, funds management, superannuation, insurance, investment, and brokerage services. It operates across Australia, and abroad in New Zealand, Asia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Website: commbank.com.au – Market Cap.: C$152.9 Billion – Stock symbol: CBA
Amcor Limited is a multinational packaging company operating in more than 40 countries. It is engaged in the development and production of flexible packaging, rigid containers, specialty cartons, closures and services, and other products.
Website: amcor.com – Market Cap.: C$24 Billion – Stock symbol: AMC
Rio Tinto Limited is the Australian arm of the Anglo-Australian multinational metals and mining corporation that is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and a top constituent of the FTSE index. Founded in 1873, Rio Tinto has evolved to become a leader in the extraction of minerals, especially aluminum, iron ore, copper, uranium, and diamonds, and developed operations in refining, particularly for bauxite and iron ore. With a global presence, Rio Tinto is primarily operating in Australia and Canada.
Website: riotinto.com – Market Cap.: C$181.2 Billion – Stock symbol: RIO
Downer EDI Limited is an integrated services company. It provides transportation services with rail and bus, it builds and operates road, infrastructure, rail, and transit systems, develops and manages power, gas, water, and communications utilities, as well industrial, mining and energy assets. Downer is a key services operator in Australia and New Zealand, with other interests in the Asia-Pacific region, South America, and southern Africa.
Website: downergroup.com – Market Cap.: C$3.7 Billion – Stock symbol: DOW
Worley Limited is an industrial engineering solutions company involved in resources, energy, and complex process industries. It provides services in project delivery and consulting for digital, construction, procurement, and engineering for a number of markets including new energy, power generation, refining, chemicals, mining, and infrastructure.
Website: worley.com – Market Cap.: C$5.5 Billion – Stock symbol: WOR
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited, sometimes abbreviated as DPE, is the leading pizza chain in Australia, and largest franchisee for the American “Domino’s Pizza” brand in the world. With 2.600 stores across Australia, New Zealand, multiple European countries and Japan, DPE is the exclusive master franchise for Domino’s brand in these countries.
Website: dominos.com.au – Market Cap.: C$8.5 Billion – Stock symbol: DMP
Ramsay Health Care is a private healthcare company operating in Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Ramsay Health Care is especially involved in primary care to highly complex surgery, as well as mental health care and rehabilitation.
Website: ramsayhealth.com – Market Cap.: C$15.3 Billion – Stock symbol: RHC
Coles Group Limited is engaged in the operation of multiple retail chains. Previously bought by Wesfarmers Limited, Coles Group was relisted independently, operating Coles Supermarkets, Coles Express, Coles liquor division, and owning half of FlyBuys.
Website: colesgroup.com.au – Market Cap.: C$21.2 Billion – Stock symbol: COL
Wesfarmers Limited is a conglomerate with predominant interests in Australian and New Zealand retail, chemicals, fertilizers, coal mining, and industrial and safety products. Founded as a co-operative in 1914, Wesfarmers Limited has become the largest employer in Australia with more than 220,000 employees.
Website: wesfarmers.com.au – Market Cap.: C$60.1 Billion – Stock symbol: WES
Woolworths Group Limited is a retail company operating supermarkets (with the Woolworths and Countdown brands in Australia and New Zealand respectively), liquor retailing (as BWS and Dan Murphy’s in Australia), hotels and pubs (under the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group), and discount department stores (under the Big W brand in Australia).
Website: woolworthsgroup.com.au – Market Cap.: C$51.8 Billion – Stock symbol: WOW
To give you a quick overview of the largest Australia-based employers globally in 2021, here is a synthesizing image regrouping the information of the top 10. Note that you can use this image to embed it on your website and other digital properties using the embed code below.
<a href="https://disfold.com/top-australian-employers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img src="https://disfold.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/top-10-australian-employers.jpg" alt="Top 10 Australian Employers Worldwide 2021"></a>
Here are the 30 largest employers from Australia in the world. Do you think they should hire more people or reduce their headcount? Should they focus on Australia or expand globally? Do these large numbers of employees give them too much power… or maybe too much responsibility?
Leave your comments below!