The number of Massachusetts state employees who earned at least $100,000 rose by nearly 25 percent last year, according to newly released payroll figures.

Overall, 13,167 employees made $100,000 or more during 2015, up from 10,562 during 2014, the data show.

People making $100,000 or more accounted for about 10 percent of all those on the state payroll in 2015, up from 8 percent in 2014.

The final 2015 payroll figures were posted this week on the state’s “Open Checkbook” website, which debuted in 2011 to make government spending more transparent. The figures include salary as well as other kinds of compensation, including overtime, back pay, and retirement payouts.


The number of highly paid workers increased in the executive branch, which is headed by Governor Charlie Baker, and in other areas of state government not under his direct control, such as state colleges and universities, sheriff’s departments, and the court system.

Baker “should demand that his agency heads perform a review of compensation starting from the very highest,” said Mary Connaughton, director of government transparency at the Pioneer Institute, a nonprofit think tank that supports limited government.

Brendan Moss, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, said the Baker administration only sets the salaries for a small percentage of workers even in the executive branch, because many of the workers are covered by union contracts.

The administration has “taken numerous steps to reduce costs for taxpayers, including a hiring freeze and early retirement program, to rein in spending for the first time in years across state government,” Moss added in a statement.

Altogether, there were 128,988 people listed on the state’s payroll during 2015, a slight increase from 2014. The payroll totaled more than $6.9 billion, a 5.9 percent increase from the prior year.

Most state workers received far less than the top earners. The median pay for 2015 was $52,102, about 4 percent higher than the year before.


Many of the highest-paid workers in the state — 86 of the top 100 — were employed in the University of Massachusetts system, similar to the pattern in prior years.

University system spokeswoman Ann Scales said that a recent analysis of UMass administrators’ salaries found the compensation was in line with pay at similar colleges.

Rounding out the top 100 were six administrators and executives at other public colleges, six members of the State Police, the chief medical examiner, and a transportation department engineer.

The number of people who earned $200,000 or more rose 36 percent last year to 544, up from 399 in 2014.

Eight employees made $500,000 or more in 2015, up from seven the year before.

The data show that the highest-paid employee was University of Massachusetts Amherst men’s basketball coach Derek Kellogg, who collected $1,075,346.

“Salaries in college athletics are market-driven, and UMass needs to pay competitive rates to attract quality coaches who are expected to produce quality sport programs,” Ryan Bamford, the university’s athletics director, said in a statement. “In the case of coach Kellogg, our storied basketball program is a great source of pride for this university and the Commonwealth and also produces significant revenues for the athletics department.”

Thousands of state workers last year took advantage of an early retirement program that offered to boost pensions for some workers and give bonuses to others.


The state payroll data do not include the MBTA and other independent state agencies that handle their own payrolls.

The MBTA has faced criticism lately after data were released showing that nearly three in 10 T employees made $100,000 or more during 2015.

Connaughton called for the state to justify hefty increases and post more detailed information about pay online for the public.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele. Todd Wallack can be reached at twallack@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @twallack.