The state of Missouri spent more than $2 billion on state employee pay in 2016, according to salary data provided by the state.
The 10 highest paid state government employees in 2016 were physicians with the department of mental health, who had salaries ranging from $254,814 to $392,318.
Employee salaries often make up the single largest item in governments’ budgets, just as they often are the largest expense for a private company. Examining the information in these databases can provide insights on how fairly governments compensate public employees, how pay for public positions compares with pay in the private sector, how pay varies by position and more.
A compensation study completed in 2016 found that Missouri state workers were the lowest paid in the nation. When just looking at cash compensation, state pay is 12.6 percent below market value. Benefits offered by the state help improve that figure. But even with benefits calculated in, the state remains 4.6 percent below market value.
Government salaries are public record because they are paid through taxpayer dollars. But there are some exceptions.
The data includes 797 “client/patient workers” whose salaries are lumped together, totaling $1,075,660. An explanation of those individual positions was not provided by the Missouri Department of Administration. The names of 101 public safety and conservation employees were redacted by the state, but their titles and individual salaries — totaling $7.34 million — are still listed.