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Finding a job is hard, and landing a good job is even harder.

You’ve spent countless hours applying to jobs online and going through the interview process for positions that don’t fit your skillset.

The only response you get from employers is an automated email with instructions on applying again in the future. It feels like no one wants to hire you!

With Illinois as your home base of operations, you can search for jobs at companies looking for employees right now.

These employers want people who have what it takes to do their work well and pay accordingly, meaning more money in your pocket and less time wasted on fruitless applications!

Illinois Department of Commerce

According to the Illinois Department of Commerce, it is more important than ever to be informed about what jobs are available with the economy in a constant state of flux.

So, if you are looking for work or want to make sure that your current job will still exist in 20 years, it can be helpful to know which companies employ the most people in your state.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security compiled a list of the top 10 largest employers in Illinois, and we’ve got them here for you!

A recent article by The New York Times highlights the top employers in Illinois. With many people looking for jobs, it’s important to know which companies are hiring.

If you’re a resident of Illinois and are curious about who the largest employer is in your state, this list will be helpful.

The Chicago Tribune also has an article that lists large employers in Illinois sorted by the number of employees. This list might help you see if any of these companies are hiring or what industries they may work with in Illinois and nationwide.

The state of Illinois is a large contributor to the United States economy. Therefore, the major employers in Illinois are a good indication of which industries have been successful in the past few years.

The top five employers in Illinois include Walgreens, Allstate Insurance Company, University of Chicago Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, and Advocate Health Care Network.

As a resident of Illinois, you may be curious about the top employers in your state. Here is a list of the top twenty:


With over 13,000 company workers statewide, Walgreens is the largest employer in Illinois, with over 70,000 employees across the country. Their distribution and training center is located in Northbrook, where they also have a market research and development office.

The company has expanded in recent years to include locations in Brazil and China, and its profits for 2016 totaled just over $9 billion. This global company operates stores in over 12 countries, with headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois.

State Farm Insurance Company

The second-largest employer in Illinois is State Farm Insurance Company, with 13,800 employees in Bloomington, IL.

Much like Walgreens and other businesses, State Farm has locations all around the country and focuses on insurance and financial services. With over 100 stores in Illinois alone, the company generates $1 billion per year in revenue.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The third-largest employer is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with just under 10,000 people. While not all company workers are technically part of the education institution, the university does hire many workers to teach and maintain the campus.

With over 45,000 students and 1,500 full-time faculty members, the university generates $5 billion in revenue.

AT&T Mobility

AT&T Mobility, headquartered in Chicago, is the fourth-largest employer in Illinois, employing around 880 workers here, which contributes to the company’s total revenue of $4.3 billion.

In addition, the company has thousands of employees located in over 25 different states. While this is not necessarily representative of its worldwide workforce, it represents where the corporation was founded and where its core customers are located.

Advocate Health Care Network

The fifth-largest employer in Illinois is Advocate Health Care Network which hires around 6,000 people to work at hospitals across Chicago, including the Ingalls Memorial Hospital and Advocate Children’s Hospital.

The Health Care Network in Illinois operates with a $4.7 billion budget and hires doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to maintain the healthcare facilities.

Northwestern Memorial Healthcare

The sixth-largest employer in Illinois is Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, with over 5,000 company workers who generate $5 billion in revenue each year.

Many of these employees work at Northwestern University Hospital or Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Northern Trust Company

The seventh-largest employer in Illinois is Northern Trust Company, with roughly 4,000 employees who help generate just under $7 billion in revenue annually.

This multinational corporation helps manage assets and provide financial services, which help employ many people in Chicago’s Loop area.

Weber Shandwick Worldwide Incorporated

The eighth-largest employer in Illinois is Weber Shandwick Worldwide which has nearly 3,800 company workers.

Their main office is in Chicago, and the company helps manage public relations for other companies, which help contribute to their yearly revenue of $1 billion.

Automatic Data Processing Incorporated

The ninth-largest employer in Illinois is Automatic Data Processing Incorporated, with around 3,600 employees who help contribute to the company’s yearly revenue of $3.8 billion.

This company specializes in payroll services and outsourcing, which helps generate employment across the business sector.

Exelon Corporation

The tenth-largest employer in Illinois is Exelon Corporation, with roughly 3,400 company workers responsible for helping generate over $33 billion in revenue.

The headquarters for the company is located just outside of Chicago and offers competitive benefits to workers, including dental, vision, 401k plans, and tuition reimbursement.

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories is the eleventh-largest employer in Illinois, with roughly 3,300 employees who help contribute to the company’s yearly revenue, which was $27 billion in 2011.

The life sciences company’s focus includes pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and nutritional products, making the corporation one of the largest employers throughout Chicago.

Hewitt Associates, Incorporated

Hewitt Associates is the twelfth-largest employer in Illinois, with just under 3,000 company workers who help generate $2 billion in revenue.

The company operates out of Lincolnshire and is one of the best places to work in the state. Since 2012, the company has been included in Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For In Illinois.

Kraft Foods Global, Incorporated

The thirteenth-largest employer in Illinois is Kraft Foods Global, with around 2,700 company workers who help contribute to their yearly revenue of $30 billion.

This global food company has many Chicago locations throughout the city where they employ people at all levels, including CEO positions, administrative positions, and customer service positions.

Roche Diagnostics Corporation

The fourteenth-largest employer in Illinois is Roche Diagnostics, with over 2,500 employees who help generate $5 billion in annual revenue.

The company deals with pharmaceuticals and diagnostic products, which have helped the corporation become one of the largest employers in Chicago since 2008.

Marriott International, Incorporated

The fifteenth-largest employer in Illinois is Marriott International, with roughly 2,400 company workers who help contribute to the company’s yearly revenue of $12 billion.

This worldwide hotel chain has over 100 hotels throughout Chicago, where they offer positions including food and beverage managers, housekeepers, customer service representatives, and security officers.

Prairie Crossing Charter School

The sixteenth-largest employer in Illinois is Prairie Crossing Charter School, with around 2,100 employees who help contribute to the school’s yearly revenue.

In addition, many students can receive an education through this charter school, which offers competitive benefits, including health insurance and tuition reimbursement.

CNA Insurance

CNA Insurance is the seventeenth-largest employer in Illinois, with roughly 2,000 company workers who offer insurance services.

The company’s revenue in 2011 was $5 billion, which contributed to the number of positions at this organization.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

The eighteenth-largest employer in Illinois is Hyatt Hotels Corporation, with just over 1,900 company workers who help contribute to the company’s yearly revenue of $5 billion.

This hotel chain provides hospitality services to over 350 hotels including here in Chicago which is the basis for their high number of employees.

Allstate Insurance Company

The nineteenth-largest employer in Illinois is Allstate Insurance, with roughly 1,800 employees who help contribute to the company’s yearly revenue of $22 billion.

In addition, the company is known for offering insurance services to individuals throughout all 50 states in the United States.

McDonald’s Corporation

The twentieth-largest employer in Illinois is McDonald’s Corporation, with over 1,800 company workers who help generate $8 billion in revenue each year.

In addition, the company provides job opportunities to many people within the Chicago-land area, where they offer positions in the restaurant, including managers, cashiers, assistant managers, and maintenance.

The corporation also offers positions in its corporate office, including auditors, accountants, information technology specialists, treasury officers, human resource directors, graphic designers, and much more.

Other large employers in Illinois include:

  • Boeing, founded in Seattle, WA, with 13,500 employees in Illinois: This company has been around for almost 100 years and makes commercial aircraft sold worldwide.
  • Loyola University Medical Center is headquartered in Maywood but is the sixth-largest employer in Illinois with 5,000 staff members.
  • Rush University is another large employer and has its main location in Chicago, with 4,500 workers. So again, college students will find nursing their best bet for finding a position at this organization.
  • The University of Illinois in Chicago is another large employer with 4,000 company workers. A total of 15,000 students can receive an education at this university which offers degrees in many different areas, including business administration, engineering, and health sciences.

Many of the largest employers in Illinois have created unmatched economic development throughout the state, generating commerce at the community level.

A Chicago Tradition: Sears Holdings with 3,900 Employees

Established in 1893 by Richard W. Sears, the company grew exponentially to become one of America’s most well-known department stores over the next few decades.

The holding company in the Chicago area has around 300 locations across the country. Its revenue in 2016 totaled $1.4 billion in Illinois.

The global company is among the major employers in the area, with more than 11,300 company workers at their various retail and wholesale shops worldwide.

They generate over $35 billion per year worldwide and have been in business for more than 100 years.

Over the past few years, this Illinois company has made many acquisitions and continues to grow across various industries, including finance, media, services, and hospitality.

With more than 1 million company workers worldwide, one of the largest companies and top employers is creating economic development jobs in North Chicago, Illinois.

About Major Employers in Illinois

This information is based on a list produced by the U.S. Census Bureau that shows the largest employer in each state as of May 2011.

This list does not necessarily represent the most current information available and may or may not help determine a place of employment from this data, along with other information regarding companies and their locations.

Companies Headquartered in Illinois

The economic development in Illinois has led to many of the top employers nationwide to headquarter their offices throughout the state, including in Chicago, Springfield, Champaign, Deerfield, Northbrook, North Chicago, and the Bloomington-Normal area.

The companies headquartered throughout the state create employment jobs that benefit the local economy and help provide more job opportunities to residents.

In addition, many of the top employers are interviewing graduates from local colleges and universities looking for their next job in the local community.


These businesses offer career opportunities in most industrial sectors, including education, insurance, transportation, life sciences, health care, and retail.

In addition, many of the top employers in the state are also looking for sports marketing, computer science, speech-language pathology, and cyber security professionals.

Are you in the middle of your college career looking for a place to begin your career, or have all your education completed and need to find an organization that will offer challenging opportunities?

If so, Illinois has many large employers that can help you find that next opportunity.

These companies are large enough to provide strong, stable employment but small enough to offer personal and professional growth opportunities.

Largest Employers in Illinois Resources:

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