It's a Walmart world.

For the seventeenth year in a row in WV, Walmart, the seller of things made mostly in China has once again ranked as the top private employer in the Mountain State, according to the annual top 100 employers list released by Workforce West Virginia.

The "Always Low Prices" retailer is popular given the state's entrenched near-bottom incomes of the 50 states.

It is one of the few stores many West Virginians can afford to shop at on a regular basis.

Considering the low pay and benefits the top employer typically pays its employees, it makes it difficult to see how the state could break out of the cycle anytime soon.

Health care-related employers West Virginia United Health System, Charleston Area Medical Center and Mylan Pharmaceuticals ranked second, third and fifth, respectively. This was Mylan's first year in the top five, moving up from its sixth-place ranking a year before.

Long gone are the state's companies that paid good wages that once topped the list, those companies have either closed or have been globalized to other parts of the world.

Long gone are dozens and dozens of manufacturing plants that paid low wages.

Meanwhile there is a stand-off in Washington regarding raising the federal minimum wage, Republicans saying such an increase would destroy small businesses.

READ WV'S TOP EMPLOYERS: workforcewv.org

SEE MORE AT: Jared Hunt: Welcome to Wal-Mart . . . er, West Virginia  Charleston Daily Mail

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