CVS – Chicago’s Largest Out-of-Town Employers
Amazon has surpassed Walmart and now holds the No. 2 spot on Chicago’s Largest Out-of-Town Employers list. This is Crain’s second year publishing the list, which highlights organizations headquartered outside the Chicago area that employ large workforces in the city and surrounding suburbs.
Amazon had a hiring spree throughout 2020 to meet growing demand for online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle-based company now employs more than 36,000 full- and part-time employees in Illinois.
Amazon had over 15,500 employees across distribution centers alone in the Chicago area during 2020, according to MWPVL International, a supply chain and logistics consulting firm based in Canada. Factoring in Whole Foods Markets, Crain’s estimates Amazon had over 18,000 full-time employees in the Chicago area as of Dec. 31.
The U.S. government holds its recurrent No. 1 spot as Chicago’s largest out-of-town employer, as well as the city’s largest employer in general, with a total of 52,357 full-time employees. That’s a 14.5 percent increase from 2019.
New to our list, and coming in at No. 14, is Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health. The pharmacy chain has a growing presence in Illinois, especially in the Chicago area.
CVS Health has about 13,000 employees across Illinois, according to Joe Goode, the company’s senior director of corporate communications. Crain’s estimates that CVS Health has about 6,200 full-time employees in the Chicago area.
Retailers like Walmart and Target also saw an increase in local full-time employment to meet increased demand during the pandemic. Walmart comes in at No. 3 with 16,900 employees, and Target comes in at No. 12 with 7,000 employees.
However, not all companies on our list experienced a hiring spree. Predictably, the two airlines in the top 25—American Airlines and Southwest Airlines—saw both local and worldwide full-time employment fall due to decreased travel demand.
The full Excel version of the list includes 52 organizations. To download the full list, become a Crain’s Data Member and head over to our Data Center.