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Data App: Our Latest Public Employee Pay Update

This morning we've posted a 2011 update to our government employee salary database, which now includes 140 entities and salary data for more than 664,000 public employees.

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This morning we've updated our government employee salary database, with a goal of bringing all information last updated prior to January of this year into 2011. The total number of entities in the database is now 140, with salary data for more than 664,000 public employees.

This latest push includes newly current data for more than 30 of those entities. One additional change: Starting today, the University of Houston System is no longer regarded as a single entity in our database. Instead, it's been broken down five ways, into University of Houston, University of Houston Clear Lake, University of Houston-Downtown, University of Houston-Victoria and the University of Houston System.

The entities whose payroll records were updated are Alamo CollegesAustin Community College, the city of CarrolltonCollin College, Collin County, the city of Dallas, the Dallas County Community College DistrictDenton CountyEanes ISD, the city of El PasoEl Paso County, the city of Fort WorthFort Worth ISD, the city of Galveston, the city of GarlandGrand Prairie ISD, the city of HoustonHouston Community CollegeHouston ISDLone Star College, the city of Lubbock, the city of PasadenaRichardson ISDRockwall ISD, the city of San Antonio, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the University of Houston, the University of Houston Clear Lake, the University of Houston System, the University of Houston-Downtown, the University of Houston-Victoria, the city of Waco and State of Texas employees.

The list of the 25 highest-paid public employees — which to date has been dominated by employees of the University of Texas System — saw no changes, despite the update to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. MD Anderson Neurosurgery Department Chair Raymond Sawaya ($1,090,278) and former President John Mendelsohn, now co-director of the Center's Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy ($1,019,075), maintained their positions, at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.

However, the effect of public sector layoffs at state agencies is obvious in many of the agencies updated as of today. Although there were no changes in the order of the top 10 agencies in the database in terms of the number of people they employ, a sizable piece of the workforce has been cut. The state of Texas — which holds the No. 1 spot, with 151,875 employees in the database — dropped 640 employees. Houston ISD (No. 2) had the largest drop, losing nearly 4,000 employees since our last update. The city of Houston (No. 3) lost 2,000 employees.

It's important to note that these numbers are not offical layoff totals, but there is no doubt that agencies are reporting fewer people on the payroll compared to the results of open records requests the Tribune made last year. In fact, with this update we saw an overall decline in the number of employees found in the salary database, from 667,000 to 664,000.

In the case of each entity, the data were correct at the time of our requests under the Texas Public Information Act. The app's agency page lists the dates that we received the data for each entity.

Let us know if you have feedback or corrections or if you’d like us to include a particular entity in a future update.

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