Top 30 Canadian employers worldwide 2021

Top Canadian employers

The largest Canadian companies by number of employees rank very high in the world’s top private employers. With tens or even hundreds of thousands of employees, Canadian corporations hire national and foreign workers to manage day-to-day operations in Canada and around the world.

Canadian companies are well-placed in the global competition for market share, and many of them are therefore also among the world’s largest non-governmental employers. Even though the number of employees is not always directly correlated with revenues and market capitalization, many of the largest Canadian multinationals tend to also present the largest headcounts.

But staff skills-level and structure vary greatly among industries: certain industries like retail require a lot of low-skilled workforces, others like IT services can outsource their personnel to countries where the cost of labor is low, whereas financial services or engineering require a lot of highly-skilled employees. Thus many companies rank very high in headcount but are not always worth as much as others in terms of market capitalization.

Just like in other countries, the list of top Canadian employers proves that the retail industry especially requires large numbers of employees. The presence of retail companies Loblaw Companies, Couche-Tard, Empire, and Metro in 4 the top 5 employers demonstrates the overwhelming weight of retail for Canadian employment.

aisle of a supermarket

Multiple other industries require a number of customer-facing employees outside of retail, particularly in the financial and industrial sectors. Among the most important ones in Canada, we can especially highlight the banking industry, which is also very present in the top 10 employers with TD, Scotiabank, and RBC. Other key employing industries include telecoms, engineering, restaurants, life insurance, and auto parts.

Most of the companies in the list are multinationals, and therefore also have large portions of their staff working in other countries to serve local customers or work remotely for Canadian operations, particularly in India. In any case, for your next career move, anticipating partners’ or competitors’ activities, knowing what Canadian employers are doing can bring a lot of key insights.

For more information on the largest Canadian companies, download our TSX Composite companies Excel file containing the complete list of Canadian companies that constitute the S&P/TSX Composite index, together with extensive business, market, financial, and digital information on each company. For even more data on the largest Canadian companies, download our Excel files on the TSX SmallCap companies and combined TSX Composite + TSX SmallCap companies.

List of the top 30 largest Canadian employers globally by number of employees

To give you more perspective on the largest Canada-based companies employing the largest workforces, details about the thirty largest public companies that hire the largest number of workers globally have been listed hereafter. Each company is detailed with presentations of its sector, industry, its worldwide full-time employees, activities, market capitalization, a direct link to its website, logo, and stock symbol.

Remark that this list only includes companies: no public service or government agency was included, even though some of them might also employ large workforces.

For more information on other world-leading companies, check our series of posts on Top Companies, and for more information on the country, read our articles on Top Business Resources for Canada.

Shortcuts to each employer

To facilitate your browsing in this long list, here are quick links to go directly to the details of any of the top 30 Canadian employers worldwide. Be sure to also check the Top 10 global Canadian employers’ summary after the list!

30. Sun Life

Sun Life logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Insurance

Employees: 23,816

Founded in 1865, Sun Life Financial Inc. is an insurance and financial services company. Primarily involved in life insurance, Sun Life is also operating in investment management in Canada, the United States, and in some countries of Asia.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$37.9 Billion – Stock symbol: SLF

29. Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Consulting Services

Employees: 24,000

Thomson Reuters Corporation is a multinational mass media and information company, majority-owned by The Woodbridge Company. Evolved from a company founded in 1934, Thomson Reuters has become a world-leading provider of news, information, and tools for professionals, operating in more than 100 countries.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$54.1 Billion – Stock symbol: TRI

28. FirstService

FirstService logoSector: Real Estate – Industry: Real Estate Services

Employees: 24,000

FirstService Corporation is a real estate services company, specializing in residential property services. Through its FirstService Residential branch, it provides property management services to about 8,000 condominium communities and homeowners associations in the United States and Canada. Its other branch, FirstService Brands is operating franchising networks of residential restoration, repair, painting, and refurbishment services.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$8.2 Billion – Stock symbol: FSV

27. CN

Canadian National Railway Company logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Railroads

Employees: 24,381

Canadian National Railway Corporation, more simply known as CN, is a freight railway company serving Canada and the Midwestern and Southern United States. Founded in 1919, CN has developed its network of freight transport for raw materials, intermediate and finished goods beyond the rail to trucking and shipping.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$104.1 Billion – Stock symbol: CNR

26. Great-West Lifeco

Great-West Lifeco logoSector: Financials – Industry: Life Insurance

Employees: 24,500

Great-West Lifeco is a financial holding corporation primarily engaged in insurance in the USA and Canada, Europe, and Asia. It offers a range of insurance products through its subsidiaries, The Great-West Life Assurance Company, Great-West Life & Annuities Financial Inc. Great-West Lifeco is also involved in insurance and other financial operations through other subsidiaries, including and London Life and Putnam Investments.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$30.8 Billion – Stock symbol: GWO

25. Linamar

Linamar logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Auto Parts

Employees: 26,000

Linamar Corporation is an international manufacturer of automobile parts and industrial equipment. Founded in 1964, Linamar is divided into a transportation segment and industrial segment, operating through a number of specialized brands, including Montupet, for machining and assembly, light metal casting, Seissenschmidt in forging, Skyjack for aerial work platforms, and agricultural equipment brands MacDon and OROS.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$5.2 Billion – Stock symbol: LNR

24. National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

Employees: 26,231

The National Bank of Canada is a large commercial bank in Canada, especially concentrated in the Quebec province. Expanding throughout the country, the National Bank of Canada is involved in personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and financial markets; it also has a limited presence in the United States and international exposure.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$29.9 Billion – Stock symbol: NA

23. Power Corporation

Power Corporation of Canada logoSector: Financials – Industry: Life Insurance

Employees: 30,000

Power Corporation of Canada is a management and holding company primarily involved in financial services in America, Europe, and Asia. Founded in 1925, it has interests in insurance, retirement, wealth management, and investment management, through its Lifeco, IGM Financial, and Pargesa subsidiaries. Power Corporation of Canada is also engaged in renewable energy, electrical components, construction materials, food and beverages, chemicals, and many more industries.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$22.8 Billion – Stock symbol: POW

22. Air Canada

Air Canada logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Airlines

Employees: 30,000

Air Canada is the national airline of Canada. Founded in 1937, it provides scheduled and charter air flights to more than 200 destinations around the world, with key hubs in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Operating a number of transborder lines with the United States and numerous international flights, Air Canada operates under the Air Canada Vacations and Air Canada Rouge brands within domestic routes.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$9.3 Billion – Stock symbol: AC

21. A&W Canada

A&W Canada logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Restaurants

Employees: 35,160

A&W Food Services of Canada, Inc. is a fast-food restaurant chain. Split from the original U.S.-based A&W Restaurants chain. With about 1000 restaurants across Canada, the company acts as a franchisor of hamburger quick-service restaurants in the country. It is also involved in the retail of A&W Root Beer in cans and bottles.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$0.5 Billion – Stock symbol: AW.UN

20. Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation logoSector: Financials – Industry: Life Insurance

Employees: 37,000

Manulife Financial Corporation is a multinational insurance and financial services company. Operating in Canada and Asia as Manulife, the company primarily operates in the United States through its subsidiary, John Hancock Financial. Manulife Financial Corporation also fully owns the Manulife Bank of Canada.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$52.7 Billion – Stock symbol: MFC

19. SNC-Lavalin

SNC-Lavalin logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Engineering & Construction

Employees: 37,584

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is a Canadian is an engineering, procurement, and construction services company. It provides consultancy, engineering, design, technology, and project management services for multiple industries including mining and metallurgy, oil and gas, environment and water, infrastructure, clean power with offices in more than 50 countries, and operations in more than 160 countries.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$5 Billion – Stock symbol: SNC

18. Recipe Unlimited

Recipe Unlimited logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Restaurants

Employees: 40,000

Recipe Unlimited Corporation is a company involved in restaurant chains and food distribution services. Operating a number of restaurant franchising brands in Canada, the United States, Panama, the Middle East, and Asia, including Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s Original Roadhouse, Milestones Grill and Bar, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, East Side Mario’s, Prime Pubs, Bier Markt, The Burger’s Priest and many more, the company is also engaged in food distribution for correctional facilities, educational facilities, and large operations.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$1.1 Billion – Stock symbol: RECP

17. BMO

Bank of Montreal logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

Employees: 43,360

The oldest bank in Canada, founded in 1817, the Bank of Montreal is a banking and financial services corporation. Operating in commercial banking as BMO Bank of Montreal in Canada, the company is also engaged in the United States, especially in the Chicago area, where it operates as BMO Harris Bank. BMO also conducts activities of corporate banking and wealth management.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$72.2 Billion – Stock symbol: BMO

16. CIBC

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

Employees: 43,890

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, commonly known as CIBC, is one of the largest banks in Canada, involved in retail and business banking, wealth management, and capital markets. CIBC has developed operations in the United States, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$56.8 Billion – Stock symbol: CM

15. Gildan

Gildan logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Apparel Manufacturing

Employees: 44,000

Gildan Activewear Inc. manufactures and sells clothing and various apparel products in the United States, Canada, and internationally. Providing activewear and sports shirts products under the Gildan, Gildan Performance, Gildan Hammer, Comfort Colors, American Apparel, Anvil by Gildan, Alstyle, Prim + Preux, and GoldToe brands, it is also involved in unbranded, custom-designed clothing. Besides Gildan Activewear also distributes various branded and private label apparel products, underwear, and accessories.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$7.8 Billion – Stock symbol: GIL

14. Bombardier

Bombardier logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Aerospace & Defense

Employees: 45,550

Bombardier Inc. is an aircraft manufacturer. Founded in 1902, it primarily designs, manufactures, and markets business jets, together with a range of commercial aircraft in the 50- to 100-seat size, as well as a number of aircraft components. Bombardier also supplies repair, maintenance, and engineering services for its components.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$1.9 Billion – Stock symbol: BBD.A

13. WSP

WSP logoSector: Industrials – Industry: Engineering & Construction

Employees: 50,000

WSP Global Inc. is a management and engineering consulting company. It provides advisory, planning, design, and project management services for the energy, healthcare, environment, construction, and maritime industries. Founded in 1885, WSP Global now operates in more than 40 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$13.7 Billion – Stock symbol: WSP

12. BCE

BCE logoSector: Communication Services – Industry: Telecom Services

Employees: 50,704

BCE Inc., formerly Bell Canada Enterprises, is a telecommunications and mass media holding company for the Bell Canada corporate group. Besides its telecommunications and media arms, Bell Canada and Bell Media, BCE is also involved in sports with participation in the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and owns several other local telecommunications companies.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$51.3 Billion – Stock symbol: BCE

11. CGI

CGI Group logoSector: Technology – Industry: Information Technology Services

Employees: 76,000

CGI Group Inc., commonly known as CGI, is a multinational information technology company involved in consulting, systems integration, outsourcing, and other IT solutions across many industries and markets, and especially in financial services.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$25.9 Billion – Stock symbol: GIB.A

10. Telus

Telus logoSector: Communication Services – Industry: Telecom Services

Employees: 78,100

Telus Corporation is a telecommunications company offering a range of products and services including internet access, voice, entertainment, healthcare, video, and IPTV television.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$33.8 Billion – Stock symbol: T

9. Brookfield

Brookfield Asset Management logoSector: Financials – Industry: Asset Management

Employees: 80,000

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is an alternative asset management company engaged in real estate, renewable power, infrastructure, and private equity. Beyond Canada, Brookfield Asset Management has also opened offices in New York City, London, Rio de Janeiro, and Sydney.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$85.5 Billion – Stock symbol: BAM.A

8. RBC

Royal Bank of Canada logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

Employees: 84,030

The largest bank in Canada by market capitalization, the Royal Bank of Canada – RBC – is a multinational banking and financial services corporation. Founded in 1882, RBC is engaged in commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance throughout Canada; it has also developed branches in the United States as well as in seventeen Caribbean countries.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$166.1 Billion – Stock symbol: RY

7. Scotiabank

Bank of Nova Scotia logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

Employees: 89,808

Operating as Scotiabank, the Bank of Nova Scotia is a multinational bank. Founded in 1832, the Bank of Nova Scotia has become “the most international bank of Canada” through its acquisitions in more than fifty countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$95.5 Billion – Stock symbol: BNS

6. Metro

Metro Inc. logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Grocery Stores

Employees: 90,000

Metro Inc. is a food and pharmaceutical retailer in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Founded in 1947, Metro now operates more than 950 hypermarkets and discount stores under the Metro, Metro Plus, Super C, and Food Basics brands stores, as well as about 650 drugstores under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy, and Food Basics Pharmacy brands. It also provides associated services including online grocery shopping and delivery, restaurants, and health centers.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$14 Billion – Stock symbol: MRU

5. TD

Toronto-Dominion Bank logoSector: Financials – Industry: Diversified Banks

Employees: 90,000

Operating as TD Bank Group, more commonly known as TD, the Toronto–Dominion Bank is a Canadian multinational banking and financial services company. Proceeding from the merger of two banks founded in the 19th century, TD Bank has become one of the largest banks in Canada, also very present in the Eastern United States.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$149.9 Billion – Stock symbol: TD

4. Empire

Empire logo

Sector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Grocery Stores

Employees: 127,000

Empire Company Limited is a Canadian conglomerate primarily involved in food retail and retail and residential real estate businesses in Canada and the United States. Founded in 1907, Empire Company operates the Sobeys supermarket chain, and also owns, affiliates, and franchises more than 1,500 retail stores with the Safeway, IGA, Foodland, Farm Boy, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawtons Drug brands, together with about 350 retail fuel locations.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$10.1 Billion – Stock symbol: EMP.A

3. Couche-Tard

Alimentation Couche-Tard logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Grocery Stores

Employees: 131,000

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., or more commonly Couche-Tard, is a convenience store operating company. With 15,000 stores across Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Japan, China, and Indonesia, Couche-Tard primarily operates under its brands Couche-Tard, Mac’s, Circle K, On the Run, as well as with affiliated brands 7-jours, Dairy Mart, Daisy Mart, and Winks.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$43.2 Billion – Stock symbol: ATD.A

2. Magna

Magna International logoSector: Consumer Cyclical – Industry: Auto Parts

Employees: 158,000

Magna International Inc. is one of the world’s largest automobile parts manufacturer and supplier. Providing its products to several of the world’s largest car manufacturers, Magna International regroups hundreds of manufacturing plants and tens of product development, engineering, and sales centers across 29 countries.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$34.7 Billion – Stock symbol: MG

1. Loblaw Companies

Loblaw Companies Limited logoSector: Consumer Defensive – Industry: Grocery Stores

Employees: 220,000

Loblaw Companies Limited is the largest food and pharmacy retailer in Canada. Loblaw operates a range of supermarkets and stores specialized in food, pharmacy, finance, and apparel. It also owns several brands for consumer packaged goods, household and health products including President’s Choice, No Name, and Life Brand.

Website: – Market Cap.: C$23.1 Billion – Stock symbol: L

Summary: Top 10 Canadian Employers Worldwide 2021

To give you a quick overview of the largest Canada-based employers globally in 2021, here is a synthesizing image regrouping the information of the top 10. Note that you can use this image to embed it on your website and other digital properties using the embed code below.

Top 10 Canadian Employers Worldwide 2021

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<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><img src="" alt="Top 10 Canadian Employers Worldwide 2021"></a>

Here are the 30 largest employers from Canada in the world. Do you think they should hire more people or reduce their headcount? Should they focus on Canada or expand globally? Do these large numbers of employees give them too much power… or maybe too much responsibility?

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