The state of Idaho's workforce dropped 675 employees from a year ago, according to a report released by the State Controller's Office Thursday.
Idaho now has 24,599 workers on the state payroll. That total includes full and part-time workers, as well as elected officials, full-time state board members, and employees at state universities and community colleges. It's the second straight year that the total number of state workers has declined. The total number of active employees peaked in 2008 at 25,411.
The controller's report doesn't have current data on state payroll costs. The most recent numbers available, covering parts of 2008 and 2009, show a payout of more than $1.4 billion in salaries and benefits.
Boise State University football coach Chris Petersen remains the highest paid state employee. The coach of the undefeated Broncos has an annual salary of more than $987,000. Petersen signed a five-year contract extension before winning the Fiesta Bowl on Monday, Jan. 4. That extension, which is likely to raise his salary, still needs to be approved by the state board of education. Petersen's current salary is lower than many other top college football coaches. The University of Alabama's Nick Saban earns more than $4 million a year.
Across Idaho, 212 state employees earn more than Gov. Butch Otter's salary of $115,348. Last year 307 earned more than Otter.
View the complete state payroll report, which includes names and salaries for all state lawmakers and employees earning more than Otter, at the state controller's website (pdf).
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