I could be wrong about that, but I used to work with Exxon and they talked about this - that the total employee base would be much larger if you included all of the subcontractors.
Exxon/Chevron/Total/BP/etc each have around 50-100k employees (I may be a bit off there, but it's in the ballpark). The workforce required for each of their operations globally is in the low millions.
At the end of the day, a major oil company is actually a construction company. Their specialty is managing complex projects with lots of subcontractors. As a result, they have a surprisingly low employee count.
Hahahaha - no. We use contractors for that too - no one who is outside our offices is an employee. GIS jockeys are contractors too. My developers also and most of the call centers. Essentially the only in-house functions are architecture, project management - everything else is contracted out.
For instance, energy services companies such as Schlumberger or Halliburton belong to the energy sector as well.
But it's true that there will be a ton of low value work that gets outsourced to services companies that are mostly classified as industrials (construction, environmental services, transportation, etc).
Most of the materials from the mine are presold.
But, the prominent 3 categories that made the list are:
- known as the most corrupt 3 industries in America
- a poor American’s only means of access to 3 of the most critical commodities in their life. The other 2 (food, housing) are disqualified by their own unique attributes.
- oil, healthcare, finance
Oil companies / energy companies are more like investment companies who invest large amounts of money in projects, have them constructed and maintained by subcontractors and then realise profits based on production / generation from said project.
Profit per employee would probably be more interesting.
Net Earnings Per Employee:
Valero: $365,452 
Apple: $766,800 
Calling hard-working people in developing country (my homeland) "slaves" just because they don't get paid the same as Americans is one of the most hypocritical thing I am really tired to hear on Western forums.
America is extremely expensive to live in, so "westerners" don't really have a grasp of just how far a single USD goes elsewhere in the world.
A lot of the locals I got to know resented Western, media-driven interference in their jobs, they wanted to work longer hours, make more money, etc. They also resented being presented as helpless indentured servants. A lot of them were (are?) proud of their job.
Not applauding the labor practices, just an additional anecdata-point.
[Edited for: data -> anecdata]
As others in this thread have pointed out, if you utilize tons of contractors, your revenue per employee may look huge, but your profit per employee will go down because you still have to pay all those people. Whether you use contractors or employees, it still comes out of your bottom line.
Now, I assume what you are really arguing is that loads of Foxconn contractors should increase the denominator in the "per employee" part of the equation. But that's why profit is a better metric, because if you look at profit per employee of Foxconn, you'd see it is much, much lower than Apple.
Using profit seems slightly better (theoretically, it gauges how effective management is at converting contractor effort into profit). But we all know that you can't compare the term "profits" between industries, whereas, revenue is consistent no matter what your business is.
I'm not arguing that the number includes the Foxconn employees in the denominator, and it shouldn't, because the numerator (Apple's net earnings) doesn't include money paid to Foxconn (as that's a cost of goods sold for Apple).
I wouldn't read too much into any of those measures.
Care to name a hardware company that doesn't use parts from Foxconn?
People there want to work at Foxconn.
The “slavery” rhetoric is entirely baseless.
Net Margins, Net Earnings, Profits, etc would be a much more interesting measure of employee productivity - though it still hides much of the details.
If you've ever seen the Altria headquarters in Richmond... well, it's unusually intimidating for a consumer staples company -- https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-77.5147176,3a,75y,3...
Altria is the tobacco industry.
You know what measures your economic value as an employee? Wages.
Your value as an employee is that which is lost by removing you from the equation. If you can be replaced by virtually anyone, your value approaches zero.
They are of course not in the S&P 500, nevertheless it would be very interesting to read about them.
Disclaimer: work in finance, have worked in HFT, don't currently.
I can imagine some smaller firms making the list. Did you have any specific ones in mind?
> Finally Two Sigma Securities, the market making arm of Chicago based quantitative hedge fund Two Sigma, will purchase the options trading business of Interactive Brokers.
When software engineering took off, the first industry that software engineering helped was software engineering. Then once that was nearly complete, the second industry they helped was the financial industry. And now the next industry being revamped/upgraded/futurized is the healthcare industry.
Surprised to see energy in there but as another commenter pointed out, it is because subcontractors are not included.
So Financials is the most powerful industry, second is healthcare, and then IT. After IT, my prediction is manufacturing/factories, media, building construction, and then engineering... in that order.
Not sure where to place energy, but I always saw them as too backwards for shift. Not sure where to place auto industry either.
Without the energy companies we'd be in Mad Max mode for decades...
Doesn't matter for my point, Google is the majority of web search in the west. Even if we add Bing and that Chinese engine, the argument is the same.
Can read it as "if we lost web search".
I wouldn't be so sure.
Google Search and Google Maps disappearing would be mildly annoying, but people would adjust. But if GMail and Google Docs (both personal and business GSuite versions) were to suddenly shut off, I dread the impact it would have on the economy. It would seriously disrupt many, if not most, small companies in very many places around the world. The extent to which people depend on Google for their data is just scary. Whatever technical literacy a typical person might have gained in the desktop era, we're losing it again in the mobile era.
I was talking mostly about Google Search.
These too I'd mark as even more insignificant as such.
There would be some impact on the economy, but more like those frequently recurrent "X billions lost due to Y2K preparations" or "Y billions lost due to malware" etc -- nothing much that people would really care about.
In any case, nothing like not having the source of the majority of energy and transport fuel.
Being able to acquire, understand and act on the right information at the right time is probably extremely important to our civilization
It's important but not that much. We did just fine without it in the 90s, 80s, and 70s and earlier.
So at best we'd be back to the 80s level of efficiency.
Without energy and fossil fuels (and with no time to adjust to alternative sources, e.g. in a sudden disappearance) we'd get to pre-1920 age levels.
Cars wouldn't move, factories wouldn't work, no cargo transport, etc.
Losing "the right information at the right time" of the kind Google provides would be a walk in the park compared to that.
It's just that people tend to take for granted what earlier and not so glamorous foundations offer.
Of course losing access to energy would be far more catastrophic than losing access to search and computing. I was only making the point that it would be more than just annoying
If you want to make an accurate analogy, compare the disappearance of oil to the disappearance of all modern computing. Both would be catastrophic.
Society is complex and has lots of interdependencies.
You're focusing on the wrong thing on my argument. I used Google as a stand-in for web search in general -- regardless of company. Because for me, and most of the west, Google is that: all of search.
My argument wasn't really about the one company, or about not being able to replace the company (we could just use Bing and make do with it if that was all I meant it for).
What's more, I also think my argument would hold even if taken to mean the web in general (and not just search). It would still be less catastrophic (and quite mild after a small re-adjustment period) than losing the fossil energy sector.
>If you want to make an accurate analogy, compare the disappearance of oil to the disappearance of all modern computing. Both would be catastrophic.
Both would be catastrophic but the latter less so. We did fine with minimal to no computers in the 60s. We can always go back to that level, which is not that savage or even old. Without fossil fuels (and no transition period to slowly replace them in toto with alternative sources) there would be zombie apocalypse levels of mayhem.
I generally agree with your argument, but I'm not sure if, with sudden loss of general-purpose computing, we wouldn't have small-scale zombie apocalypse on our hands. The world has grown in many ways since the 60s - including population and complexity of supply chains. All of this would have to be scaled down, and here "scaled down" means mass loss of life.
> We transported as much oil in the 70s without "all modern computing".
No, we didn't. Global production (and consumption) has close to doubled since 1970.
Also, "is this possible to do without computing?" and "would the sudden disappearance of modern computing seriously interrupt the way that we currently do this?" are very different questions.
Doubled is not that much to cover.
Besides did it double because of increased demand (more population, more developing nations, etc) and efficiencies in drilling (e.g. fracking or how it's called), or because of "modern computing"?
> Besides did it double because of increased demand... or because of "modern computing"
My answer is basically "yes". The rest of my argument contains a lot of inter-related claims, so I'm going to number them to make things easier to follow.
But my fundamental claim is that modern computing played a large role on both the supply side and the demand side in the oil industry over the past 30 years.
1. Effect of computing on supply: Computing helped provide the steady flow of cheap oil.
1a. Computing enabled more efficient and more accurate discovery, driving down the price of extracting oil.
1b. Computing enabled new drilling techniques, driving down the price of extracting oil.
1c. Computing improved the efficiency of both old and new drilling techniques, driving down the price of extracting oil.
1d. Computing enabled improvements in refining, driving down the price of refining oil.
1e. Computing enabled improvements in predicting demand, decreasing the risks of destablizing cycles of under-production followed by glut.
2. Effect of computing on demand in developed economies: Computing helped decrease d(demand)/dt for oil in developed economies.
2a. Fuel efficiency in vehicles -- both planes and cars -- was driven in part by modern computing. Multiple mechanisms explain this: improved design (esp in the case of cars), more efficient usage (esp in the case of planes and plants), and efficiencies directly enabled by computing (esp in cars).
3. Effect of computing on demand in developing economies: Computing increased the rate of development.
3a. Indireclty: computing helped keep the price of oil more stable and lower than it would've been without computing (see: 1 and 2). Predictable and relatively lower prices enabled a faster rate development, which itself drove more demand. This cycle would've happened in any case, but by keeping prices lower and more stable, computing increased the rate of economic development inb these countries.
3b. Directly: In some of the most rapidly developing economies, development was directly driven by offshoring of IT/computing and especially of manufacturing related to IT/computing.
1. computing increased the availability and consistency of oil supply, driving down both volatility and prices (note: is is the subtle point. In the case of oil there's a feedback loop between supply and demand, so we have to consider prices for equal levels of demand in the real world vs. the hypothetical no computing world. The claim is that, when we fix the level of demand, prices are significantly lower than they would've been without computing. The claim is not that absolute prices are lower; I think without computing, demand would be significantly lower because large swaths of the world would be significantly less developed),
2. computing decreased the rate of growth in demand for oil in developing economies, allowing growth in supply to enable more rapid development in other economies, and
3. computing increased demand for oil by both directly and indirectly driving development.
None of this is to discount the role of other innovations: the spread of public health practices, vaccinations, the most recent wave of globalization, relative peace, decolonization, and so on all played major roles as well.
My point is only that, without computing, the state of oil production and consumption would be substantially different with absolutely massive implications for all of the non-western world, and perhaps for the west as well.
To actually answer your question though, companies will pay the lowest wage possible while still being able to sufficiently fill positions. For engineers at Facebook this is $250k. For janitors and cooks it's $15 p/h.
Apple, at least, charges all employees for food and gym. And staffing the dining center has become hard enough that they pay a thousand dollar referral bonus.
> She said she liked working at Facebook and didn’t resent the engineers and product managers she cleans up after. “I know that they are the ones that are making the money,” she said in Spanish. “They are the ones doing the hard job and getting fair pay.”
Also, why do you focus on Apple and Facebook (#33 and #42)? If you think employees should be compensated per revenue, then oil drillers are the ones that should be complaining; they should be paid far more than software developers.
Median compensation for energy sector employees: $123k (tech is at $96k).
They most likely are being paid more, when adjusting for cost of living. You can work on a rig making $100k a year in areas where $250k buys you a very nice 3500 SQ ft home with a big backyard.
Something that would cost millions in SF, NYC, Seattle, etc.
Yes, assuming an ever upward trend that never crashes. Which everyone should know by now will not likely be the case.
The other bit is how much of SV's employees are paid in stocks; after 4 years of RSU granting cycles and appreciation, you may well be earning more in stock vests than base salary.