Government Salaries in Texas

From a very interesting database of Texas Government Employee Salaries run by The Texas Tribune, I created three data graphics for An Illustrated Guide of Income in the United States showing their distribution (pages 92–94).

I start with graphing the distribution of all public employee salaries below $250,000, 99.7% of all state employees, listing the most common job titles I found: teachers and professors, police officers, clerks and administrative assistants, bus operators, child protective services specialist and mental retardation assistants.

However, to graph the long tail of the income distribution I have to graph individual salaries. Many are heads of surgery departments and head coaches. The highest salary goes to the head football coach at the University of Texas at Austin. (Salary of $2.5 million plus a bonuses of $2.7 million for a total of $5.2 million)

Another way to show how much inequality exists with these salaries is to plot the cumulative share of Texas public employees vs cumulative share of their salaries. But how does this compare to the Untied States as a whole?  I found in a report from the CBO, a graph plotting the 2007 cumulative share of all US households against household income which I used as a stand in for everyone in the US. You can see that the US household income distribution is more unequal than salaries of Texas state employees.

Graphs created in OmniGraphSketcher and annotated in Illustrator. 

Data sources: The Texas Tribune and the Congressional Budget Office 

Design notes: Graphs were created using OmniGraphSketcher, copied into Adobe Illustrator where annotations were added. The illustrator file was then placed into an InDesign document for the book. View all the graphics from the book online.

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