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See Which Tech Employees Generate the Most Money for their Company

Employees at some of America's top Tech companies can now know exactly what they're worth to their bosses. On this chart, each figure represents the revenue each employee generates per year. Your standard Apple employee brings in $1.9 million, but even the average AMD employee, 20th on the list, still adds $512K to company coffers.

Any entrepreneur worth their salt will tell you the most valuable asset of their company is its people. A nice-sounding platitude, with a double-edged meaning: for most corporates, personnel constitutes the single-greatest cost; and of course, it's the staff that does the hard work of actually earning the company its money. The latter point is the crucial one: the amount of money your employees make determines whether your company sinks or swims, and how generous you can be to them – and to your shareholders.

Analysis by Business Insider of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P500) shows that, by sector, energy companies have the highest average revenue per employee ($1.78 million in 2016), double as much as healthcare companies ($880,000), in second place. Industrial companies and those manufacturing consumer discretionaries (i.e. non-essential goods) had the lowest ($321K and $424K, respectively). Of course, this does not just reflect inherent profitability, but also the labor-intensity needed to operate different types of business: less for a nuclear plant than a car factory, for example. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the IT sector ranks as fairly labor-intensive, finishing near the bottom of the scale at $484K – just above consumer discretionaries. As Business Insider explains, this is in large part because other companies in more profitable spaces like Energy and Healthcare have large, non-employee costs that Tech companies don't have.

Still, as this graph shows, some Tech giants are among the best-performing companies overall when it comes to revenue per employee – none more so than Apple. At $1.9 million, it outperforms Facebook ($1.6 million) and Alphabet, the parent company of Google ($1.3 million). Verisign, the domain name and online security provider, came in fourth, at $1.2 million, just ahead of the average Visa employee, who generated $1.1 million in revenue in 2016. That's about two grand more than the average employee at rival card company MasterCard. Of the tech giants, Microsoft scores the lowest, ranking 10th at an average annual revenue per employee of $748K. Disappointing? Not until you realize that you have to multiply this figure by about 190,000, the number of Microsoft employees globally. And anyway, the company recently announced it would be shedding 3,000 jobs, so the average revenue per employee looks set to rise next year – such is the cruel arithmetic of profit vs. staff. Doing slightly better on a per-employee basis are wireless equipment company Qualcomm (#9), at $772K, chip makers Lam Research (#8), at $785K and fellow semiconductor specialist Broadcom (#7), at $843K.

The bottom half of the Top 20 contains some immediately recognizable names, such as Cisco (#13, $684K), Yahoo (#15, $608K), PayPal (#16, $599K) and Intel (#18, $560K). Perhaps lesser known are electronic parts supplier Applied Materials (#11, $694K), video game developer Activision Blizzard (#12, $688K), programmable logic devices supplier Xilinx (#14, 640K), business and financial software supplier Intuit (#17, 594K), electronics equipment supplier KLA-Tencor (#19, $535K), and semiconductor designers AMD (#20, $521K).

A striking commonality among many of these companies is their 'fabless' business model: they design and develop, but do not fabricate, having outsourced production to countries where manufacturing costs a lot less. This again points to the grim paradox of per-employee profitability: quite often, less is more.

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