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The 5 Largest Employers in Orange County, CA

Our List of Orange County’s 5 Largest Employers

If you Google “Orange County”, the first results will probably describe the region’s list of attractions and outdoor activities. All this is true. However, it only paints half the picture. Today, Orange County has a thriving business environment with a lot to offer. Here, you will find some of the world’s largest companies. They come to Orange County to enjoy the thriving business environment and work with a pool of talent that helps them grow further.

We love OC businesses and therefore took it upon ourselves to create a list of the 5 largest employers in Orange County. So read on for the official My OC Bookkeeper list of the OC’s largest job creators.

The Walt Disney Company

Topping Orange County’s largest employers list, The Walt Disney Company with about 30,000 employees countywide. That is why, it plays a vital role in the Orange County economy. The Walt Disney Company operates in four business segments: Media Networks, Parks, Experiences and Products, Studio Entertainment, and Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) and International. That is why, it always offers a steady stream of diversified job opportunities.

At The Walt Disney Company, they understand how each member of their staff will have an impact on people’s lives worldwide. That is why, they don’t hire just anybody. (Interesting fact: they may have hired the mother of one of our staff members.) They also ensure that their staff comes from unusually diverse demographic backgrounds – the company is 52% female and 43% minorities.

From the start, The Walt Disney Company has branded itself as the place of making dreams come true. That is not just their mission with their customers. The Walt Disney Company also tries to help its employees reach their dreams. That is why, they invest in their employees’ education through their Disney Aspire program. For all these reasons and more, The Walt Disney Company is not just the largest employer in Orange County – it also has a great employee retention rate, with staff members usually staying with the company for 3.7 years.

(Sidebar, do yourself a favor and watch the video below. It’s about Disney’s longest standing employee who worked there for 65 years! We’re not sure what his thoughts on the 5 largest employers in Orange County are, but we suspect he likes at least one of the companies on our list.)

University of California

The second largest employers in Orange County are not from the private sector. With 23,884 employers, UCI tops the list as the largest public sector employers in Orange County. They are also contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide.

Over the past few years, UCI has been growing rapidly in many areas. That is why, its size of employees has also increased drastically. Founded in 1965, UCI is considered the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It also ranks among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News and World Report. With three Nobel laureates, UCI is known for its academic achievement, cutting edge research, innovation and its infamous anteater mascot. That is why, Forbes has named it one of the best employers in the USA.

County of Orange

Offering about 17,271 jobs, the County of Orange lands in the third place of our list of largest employers in Orange County. The County of Orange is a local governmental agency responsible for developing, managing and providing a wide range of public services. Their scope of services includes public safety, public health, environmental protection, regional planning, and social services. To deliver all these services in a responsive and timely manner, the County of Orange partners with regional businesses and other governmental entities.

At the County of Orange, the staff comes from unusually diverse demographic backgrounds. The organization is 53.5% female and 54.4% ethnic minorities. This diversification is also extended to the political orientation of the employees, with 49.7% Democrats and 46.6% Republicans. The County of Orange also offers good working conditions, health, dental, medical insurances, paid time off, 401k plan, etc. That is why, their employee retention rate is high with staff members usually staying for 6.6 years within the company. No wonder the County of Orange has ranked number 4 on the Best Government Companies to Work for in Santa Ana, CA list.

A sign with the words "for hire", symbolic of Orange County's largest employers.

St. Joseph Health

When you think about the largest employers in Orange County, usually big names, such as Disney or Boeing, come to mind. That is why, many people get surprised when they see St. Joseph Health in the list. With a workforce of 14,000 employees, St. Joseph Health lands on the well-deserved fourth place in our list.

This Catholic not-for-profit, health care system has long and storied roots in Orange County. Its first hospital in Orange County, St. Joseph in Orange, was founded in 1929. Today, St. Joseph Health includes 16 hospitals, physician organizations, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services and community outreach services. They cover California, Texas and New Mexico. In 2016 and 2017, St. Joseph Health was awarded Top Workplaces Regional Awards by the Orange County register.

Kaiser Permanente

As one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, it is no surprise that Kaiser Permanente lands in our largest Orange County employers’ list. With a workforce of 8,178 jobs, Kaiser Permanente serves 12.5 million members.

For over 76 years, Kaiser Permanente has been leading the way with innovative approaches to health care. Their goal has always been to deliver high-quality and affordable health care services. Kaiser Permanente Orange County hospitals are among the best in the nation for delivering high-quality care, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2021-2022 “Best Hospitals” rankings. They have also been recognized on Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work list.

This concludes our list of the 5 largest employers in Orange County. Let us know your opinion and how you see each of these companies. We would love to have a good discussion about that. You can also check our list of The 5 Best Businesses in Irvine.


Do you want to grow your business and maybe one day land on the list of top five employers in Orange County? At My OC Bookkeeper, we can help you achieve that and much more. We understand all the challenges that come along with the huge business opportunities in Orange County. That is why, we provide the best bookkeeping and business advisory services available in Southern California. With us, you can rest assured you will get the business partner you need to make your business thrive. To learn more about our services and how we can help, reach out to us. Let’s chat and see how we can do great things together.

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