Louisiana state employee salaries
|National Taxpayers Union|
According to 2008 Census data, state and local governments combined employed 314,294 individuals in Louisiana. Of those employees, 262,442 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $890,536,559 per month and 51,852 were part-time employees paid $44,960,033 per month.
Budget shortfalls have coincided with an increase in both state jobs and salaries. According to reports from the Office of Civil Service, Gov. Bobby Jindal's first 11 months in office saw 3,198 new jobs added to the payroll. These new jobs, along with pay raises, saw the state's payroll jump by $278 million.
Online salary database
The Times-Picayune provides an online database of state employee salaries using data from the Louisiana Office of Civil Service. Users can search by name, job title, employer or salary range. The breakdown of salary range is as follows:
|Salary||Number of employees|
|$0 - 49,999||72,834 employees|
|$50,000 - 99,999||27,834 employees|
|$100,000 - 199,999||3,021 employees|
|$200,000 - 299,999||139 employees|
|$300,000 - 399,999||19 employees|
|$400,000 - 550,000||4 employees|
The average pay of a classified state worker is $39,619, while an unclassified worker, (which are generally political appointees), averages $59,246. Gov. Jindal's salary, set by the legislature, is $130,000. Putting this in perspective, the median household income in Louisiana is $39,418.
In the last year, state employees making less than $40,000 a year actually decreased, while those making over $40,000 rose by 4,334. Additionally, employees making over $100,000 were responsible for growing the payroll by $96 million in a year.
Four out of the top five highest paid employees work at LSU. These include:
- John Lombardi, President, LSU System Board of Supervisors - $550,000
- J. Stanley "Skip" Bertman, Athletic Director, LSU - $425,000
- Gary Crowton, Assistant Head Coach, LSU - $400,000
- Michael Martin, Chancellor, LSU, $400,000
- Sally Clausen, Commissioner, Board of Regents - $377,000
Freezing and cutting jobs
Gov. Jindal and his chief budget officers have frozen and cut jobs at several agencies, while combining some offices. However, they say that there are huge areas where they simply have no direct control, namely higher education and health care.
Salaries for employees in higher education has been a major point of contention for some lawmakers. Higher education includes 2,049 employees making over $100,000, far more than any other field. Some other snapshots across the state include:
- 1,257 make over $70,000 at the main Louisiana State University campus at Baton Rouge, totaling $133 million
- 352 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The state employs a total of 41,862 people in higher education, of which 23,878 are full time and receiving a net pay of $106,985,470. Part-time employees number 17,984, receiving a net pay of $14,654,072. A total of 13,231 employees are instructional employees.
Hurricane Katrina gave Louisiana a unique situation to deal with. Among the impacts from the storm was a reduction of some 10,000 from the state workforce in 2005. Since then, these numbers have been added back to the payroll, many of which were in the public health sector. All together, around 1/3rd of the increase of state workers last year was tied to New Orleans health care.
Additionally, hurricane recovery dollars and increased revenues from oil and gas led to a spending spree. By the middle of last December, executive branch workers reached 103,875. In the 3 1/2 years since Katrina, total salary base increased by 22%.
While officials report cutting or freezing positions, that does not necessarily give an accurate picture. State budget planners rely on personnel reports, which concentrate on budgeted positions that agencies are allowed to fill. However, agencies often have more positions than actual employees and end up cutting vacant positions.
For example, Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis announced in mid-February the elimination of 971 positions, but of that number 714 were vacant.
On the other hand, "warm-body reports" are produced by the Office of Civil Service every few weeks and provide the actual numbers of employees being paid by the state, with the exceptions of workers under the legislature and courts. These are what must be looked to for an accurate count.
Lawmakers and officials have been debating changes to the state civil service system, with the possibility of legislation being introduced this spring session. Proposals vary from seniority and job protection provisions to a new approval process for hiring. There has also been discussion of a restructuring the hiring process at the capital.
- Louisiana Department of State Civil Service
- Database of state employee salaries
- La TRAC - Louisiana Transparency and Accountability
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Times-Picayune, Louisiana's growing state payroll straining budget, February 14, 2009
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2008 U.S. Census Data Lousiana
- ↑ The Times-Picayune, How much do state employees earn?, February 14, 2009
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 2 the Advocate, 11,839 state paychecks top $70,000, January 18, 2009
- ↑ The Times-Picayune, Government Jobs and Pay'
- ↑ Forbes, Analysis: La. budget cuts spur consolidation talks, April 6, 2009