Bringing the Economy Home

Idaho Adds State Workers, Top Paid State Employee Is BSU Football Coach

Idaho had 327 more state employees at the start of this year than last. The state Controller’s office released its annual Legislative Handbook, formerly known as the Rainbow Report, last week.

The chart shows the total number of state employees at the start of each calendar year, going back to 2004. As the effects of the recession hit, and Idaho began cutting state agency budgets, the number of state workers declined.

As StateImpact Idaho reported last year, the state had laid off nearly 1,000 employees since 2007. The total number of state workers at the beginning of this year is above 2006 levels.

The report also details the annual salaries for many state employees. The state spent $1.33 billion in annual wages, benefits and fees in fiscal year 2012. That’s down from a high of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2009.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen.

This year, 266 state employees make more money than the governor. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter will take home $117,000 this year. Many of Idaho’s top-paid employees are judges, agency heads, and university administrators and professors.

Idaho’s highest paid employee is again Boise State University head football coach Chris Petersen. His 2013 salary is $1,086,009.60, a decline from 2012 when he earned $1,170,499.20.

Forty percent of Idaho’s state employees earn between $20,000 and $39,999.


  • Steph

    FORTY PERCENT OF IDAHO’S STATE EMPLOYEES EARN BETWEEN $20,000 AND $39,000. Maybe we should talk about paying people what they’re worth. Right now, some of the hardest workers, and the smartest workers, get paid the least.

    • Miraxian

      But Steph, that wouldn’t fit with our “reality” TV loving, OMG what are the Kardashian’s doing, let’s pay our movie stars and athletes extreme amounts of money society. You’re making way too much sense.

  • Lordhelpus

    Really sad is what law enforcement, correctional officers, etc. get paid, or should I say “don’t” get paid. It’s a constant that their lives are at risk 100% of their working hours, yet the pay is pathetic to just about the point of disrespect for what they provide.

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