Los Angeles County's largest private employers have increased their ranks.

The combined local workforce of the county's 25 largest employers totals 241,597, a 13.7 percent increase from last year's figure of 212,450.

Contributing to the growth was Northrop Grumman Corp., which jumped five spots to No. 3, having doubled the size of its workforce to 20,000 from mid-2002. The increase came from Northrop's acquisition of TRW Inc., which has significant operations in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Carson, as well as increased hiring on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, said company spokesman Bob Bishop.

Despite shedding more than 1,400 employees, Chicago-based Boeing Co. held on to second place with 22,058 employees.

Health care companies accounted for 10 of the 25 companies on this year's list. Among those debuting this year was Tenet Healthcare Corp., coming in at No. 6. with 11,673 employees in L.A. County.

Nicole Taylor


Kaiser Permanente

The Oakland-based health care company continues its reign as the largest employer in Los Angeles County, pulling ahead of No. 2 Boeing Co. by more than 7,000 employees.

Oakland-based Kaiser added close to 1,600 employees this year, for an L.A. County workforce of 29,225. This went against the companywide trend that had payrolls decreasing by 3,600 workers, to 146,475 overall.

Kaiser was formed out of industrial health care programs for workers at the Kaiser companies in the 1930s and '40s. It opened enrollment to the public in 1945.

The non-profit is comprised of three integrated units: Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Permanente Medical Groups.

More than three-quarters of Kaiser's 8.4 million enrollees are in California. The company operates in nine states altogether, along with the District of Columbia. Kaiser is the largest HMO in Southern California, with 3.1 million members. The company saw enrollment increase by 1.6 percent, or 48,000 members, in Southern California from the previous year.

Kaiser reported net income of $306 million for the second quarter ended June 30, up from $161 million for the like period a year ago. Second quarter revenues were $6.3 billion vs. $5.5 billion.

Companywide, Kaiser is working on an automated medical records system that company officials hope will help curb health care costs.

Nicole Taylor

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