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Where Facebook Leads Alphabet, Apple and Amazon

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, SEC Filings

If there was an award for companies that create stock market value with the fewest employees, Facebook would easily win it.

The social network company has become one of the biggest companies trading on the public markets, with a market capitalization of more than $330 billion. Yet, as of Dec. 31, it employed just 12,000 people, far fewer than companies with equal or smaller market capitalizations including Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, AT&T and General Electric.

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Verizon, AT&T and GE each had hundreds of thousands of employees, reflecting the labor-intensive nature of their operations. Verizon Communications passed $200 billion in market cap in May 2014 when it had 176,800 employees. That’s $1.1 million per employee. GE passed $200 billion in market cap in May 1997 when it had 239,000 employees ($836,820 per employee).

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