According to a recent report by the Ohio Department of Development, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is Ohio’s seventh largest employer, responsible for employing an estimated 18,260 people.

The report went on to say that at 8,145 acres, Wright-Patterson is also the largest employer at a single site in the entire state. Of the 18,260 employed at the base, 10,690 are civilian workers and 7,570 are military personnel.

View of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
A wide view of some of the main buildings at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The entire base itself occupies 8,145 acres. Photo © Craig Barhorst

Wal-Mart is the state’s largest employer with approximately 52,000 employees at its 172 retail operations and four distribution centers. The report said that while many of its employees are part time, the Wal-Mart presence is felt in every community across the state. Three other national retailers made the top ten including Kroger with 36,500 employees, Bob Evans with 17,500 and Meijer with 16,300. Both Kroger and Bob Evans are also headquartered in Ohio.


Growth at Wright-Patterson and the Air Force Museum
A view in 2002 of construction on the additional hanger added to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patt. Photo © Craig Barhorst

Below is a list of the top 10 employers in the state of Ohio according to the Ohio Department of Development. Ranking, company name, headquarters location and number of employees in Ohio are included.

    Company Employees

1     Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (Bentonville, AR) 52,000
2     Kroger Co (Cincinnati, OH) 36,500
3     Cleveland Clinic Health System (Cleveland, OH) 37,354
4     Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) 24,400
5     Catholic Healthcare Partners (Cincinnati, OH) 23,000
6     University Hospitals Health System (Cleveland, OH)   21,800
7     Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton, OH) 18,260
8     Bob Evans Farms, Inc (Columbus, OH) 17,500
9     JP Morgan Chase & Co (New York, NY) 17,100
10     Meijer, Inc (Grand Rapids, MI) 16,300

Source: Major Ohio Employers, March 2008. Issued by the Policy Research & Strategic Planning division of the Ohio Department of Development.