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Which Companies Make The Most Revenue Per Employee?

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Which Companies Make The Most Revenue Per Employee?

Which Companies Make The Most Revenue Per Employee?

On average, companies in the energy sector make at least 2x per employee than others

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

The world’s largest companies have many similarities, but the size of their respective org charts is not necessarily one of them.

At the one extreme, companies such as Walmart require a massive workforce in the millions to run retail operations around the globe. But at the other extreme, an energy giant like Valero is able to generate $76 billion of annual revenue with just 0.4% of the employees of Walmart.

It raises the question: which types of companies make the most revenue per employee, and why?

Revenue Per Head

Today’s chart uses data on companies in the S&P 500 Index courtesy of analytics platform Craft.co.

Instead of plotting the information for all 500 companies, we focused on two groups of firms: (1) energy companies, which tended to skew towards the upper end of revenue per employee ratio, and (2) brands that you will be familiar with, like Netflix, Walmart, Goldman Sachs, Ford, or IBM.

The end result is an astonishing range, with companies making anywhere between <$100,000 per employee (Accenture, McDonald's, Starbucks, Marriott) all the way to >$7 million per employee (Valero Energy).

Industry Averages

Here’s a look at this same data expressed as averages at an industry level, based on the sub-sectors that make up the S&P 500:

RankSectorAvg. Revenue Per Employee
#1Energy$1.79 million
#2Healthcare$0.89 million
#3Utilities$0.81 million
#4Consumer Staples$0.70 million
#5Financials$0.65 million
#6Telecommunications$0.61 million
#7Materials$0.60 million
#8Tech$0.48 million
#9Consumer Discretionary$0.42 million
#10Industrials$0.32 million

Note: this analysis excludes real estate companies

Interestingly, there is even a wide variance between sectors. Oil and gas companies make at least twice as much revenue per employee than the companies in all other sectors, while healthcare and utilities companies also have high ratios as well.

There is a plausible explanation for this large discrepancy, and it has to do with the cost of doing business.

Oil and gas companies have to spend billions of dollars on capital expenditures to build and maintain plants and rigs, while paying extra taxes and royalties. Healthcare companies have to spend a lot on R&D to stay competitive, while utilities must maintain vast amounts of infrastructure. At the same time, all of these sectors generally hire very specialized employees like engineers or scientists, which cost more than average.

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Energy

The World’s Biggest Oil Producers in 2023

Just three countries accounted for 40% of global oil production last year.

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Donut chart showing the biggest oil producers by country in 2023.

The World’s Biggest Oil Producers in 2023

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email.

Despite efforts to decarbonize the global economy, oil still remains one of the world’s most important resources. It’s also produced by a fairly limited group of countries, which can be a source of economic and political leverage.

This graphic illustrates global crude oil production in 2023, measured in million barrels per day, sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Three Countries Account for 40% of Global Oil Production

In 2023, the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia collectively contributed 32.7 million barrels per day to global oil production.

Oil Production 2023Million barrels per day
🇺🇸 U.S.12.9
🇷🇺 Russia10.1
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia9.7
🇨🇦 Canada4.6
🇮🇶 Iraq4.3
🇨🇳 China4.2
🇮🇷 Iran3.6
🇧🇷 Brazil3.4
🇦🇪 UAE3.4
🇰🇼 Kuwait2.7
🌍 Other22.8

These three nations have consistently dominated oil production since 1971. The leading position, however, has alternated among them over the past five decades.

In contrast, the combined production of the next three largest producers—Canada, Iraq, and China—reached 13.1 million barrels per day in 2023, just surpassing the production of the United States alone.

In the near term, no country is likely to surpass the record production achieved by the U.S. in 2023, as no other producer has ever reached a daily capacity of 13.0 million barrels. Recently, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Aramco scrapped plans to increase production capacity to 13.0 million barrels per day by 2027.

In 2024, analysts forecast that the U.S. will maintain its position as the top oil producer. In fact, according to Macquarie Group, U.S. oil production is expected to achieve a record pace of about 14 million barrels per day by the end of the year.

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