Tribune Launches Interactive Salary App

The statewide government payroll app has been, by far, the most popular feature at The Texas Tribune, accounting for nearly one in five clicks on our website. With that in mind, we sought to make it even better.

The new version contains data on 340,000 employees of the state's largest agencies, universities, cities, school districts, and mass-transit operators. That's more than $15 billion in public payroll that we collected under the Texas Public Information Act. Now, though, the app is easier to navigate, especially for people who don't come to it with a specific employee to find.

The old app only allowed users to search for a worker's name or to see a descending list of the top-paid employees by agency. As of today, users can also search for job titles and agencies — and then compare those against similar groups in the database.

A search for "professor," for example, returns the top 10 employees with that word in their titles. It shows that Texas A&M University pays its top-tier professors more than its intrastate rival, the University of Texas at Austin. You can now do similar comparisons across the 28 governmental entities in the database.

The app also now performs calculations by titles and agencies. The landing page for "City Attorney" salaries, for example, tells users that employees with that title have salaries ranging from $210,000 to $30,692, with a median of $59,626. The app also allows users to compare salaries by agency, highlighting the fact that the University of Texas and Texas A&M University system offices have the highest median salaries. The City of Brownsville has the lowest.

We've also added visualization with the Google Chart API, allowing users see salary ranges. Here's one for of City of Fort Worth, showing that most workers earn from $30,000-$70,000 a year.

UT head football coach Mack Brown, of course, remains the highest-paid employee in the database, earning $5.1 million annually. The university notes that Brown's pay comes strictly from athletics revenues, not students' tuition payments or tax dollars. 

Most government workers in the database, it should be noted, make less than $50,000 a year. But at least 7,800 are paid more than $100,000 annually.

Explore the app on your own. Let us know if you have questions or find anything we should investigate.

 

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