Mapping the Greatest Employers on the Planet

With the stock market hitting record highs almost every day and unemployment dropping to its lowest level in 17 years, it’s safe to say that skilled employees are now discovering the flexibility to decide where they want to work. This raises an interesting question. What’s the best company to work for where you live? We took new data from Forbes to create a unique map to help you find out.

Forbes recently released a ranking of the best companies in the world. They consider a variety of different perks and benefits, like the quality of food served to employees and parental leave policies. Forbes even looked at whether companies allow their employees to nap while on the job. We mapped these companies by paying attention to their market capitalization to get a feel for how large an organization needs to be to afford such high-quality benefits. One company therefore represents each country, color-coded by market cap. Red countries have an employer worth over $100B, and dark blue countries boast relatively small employers under $10B. Several trends immediately pop out from our map.

Red countries with huge companies predominantly originate in North America and Western Europe. Alphabet (think Google) is the largest on our list by a landslide with a market cap of $579.5B, bigger than the entire GDP of Argentina. The three exceptions proving the rule are a tobacco company in India called ITC with a market cap of $51.6B, plus Hong Kong (CNOOC, $54.8B) and Taiwan (Han Hai Precision, $54.4B). All three of these places experienced long-term and unique economic and political relationships with the West.

There are three obvious and glaring gaps on our map as well. Africa only contributes a single company to Forbes’ list, namely Remgro from South Africa, a conglomerate made of many subsidiaries from different industries. The Middle East and Eastern Europe also have only a few companies counted among the best places to work in the world. These places have a long way to go before they will become desirable destinations for people to find work.

Here’s a simplified list of the countries with the best employers in the world, ranked in order of their total market cap ($ billion). We also included the number of employees working at each company for reference. Think about the list like this: the U.S. has the biggest and best company in the world, Alphabet. Which country has the second biggest company? Switzerland.

1. United States - Alphabet: Computer Services - $579.5B and 72,053 employees

2. Switzerland - Nestle: Food Processing - $229.5B and 328,000 employees

3. Netherlands - Unilever: Household/Personal Care - $143.9B and 169,000 employees

4. Germany - Daimler: Auto & Truck Manufacturers - $76.1B and 282,488 employees

5. Hong Kong - CNOOC: Oil & Gas Operations - $54.8B and 19,718 employees

6. Taiwan - Hon Hai Precision: Electronics - $54.4B and 1,000,000 employees

7. Canada - Suncor Energy: Oil & Gas Operations – $51.7B and 12,837 employees

8. India - ITC: Tobacco - $51.6B and 25,564 employees

9. Italy - Enel: Electric Utilities - $47.5B and 62,080 employees

10. Australia - CSL: Biotechs - $43.9B and 16,000 employees

So Alphabet takes the cake as the best place in the world to work, both because it tops Forbes’ ranking and because of its size and market dominance. There’s no doubt that the company will be around for a long time, so if you can manage to get your foot in the door, even only as an intern, then plan on making the most of the opportunity. There will almost always be a line of people trying to work there.

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