Number of State Employees Who Make $100,000+ Up 50 Percent Under Snyder

At top of state government, the rich get richer

When Gov. Rick Snyder took office in 2011, 927 people on the state of Michigan's payroll made $100,000 or more. By 2015, the number of six-figure employees had increased by 55 percent to 1,437.

One of the largest increases was in the number making $126,000 or more, which is where state government's highest salary category begins. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, there were 165 state employees who were paid that much. By 2015, the number had almost doubled to 310 (up 88 percent). The average state employee salary last year was $57,171.

While the vast majority of state employees are included in the annual state report listing these figures, some in the six-figure group may not be included because they are paid by unconventional means.

In particular, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the agency in charge of state business subsidies, pays its people with a mix of state tax revenue and money from negotiated payments from Indian casinos that have been earmarked to the agency. The MEDC has 19 employees who are paid $100,000 or more, led by its director, Steven Arwood, who gets $267,000. That number is down from 52, in 2014.