What is the staff turnover rate of your member of Congress? Is he or she better at holding on to aides than his or her colleagues?
Relying on disbursement data from the House of Representatives, cleaned and verified by LegiStorm, this LegBranch resource reveals 2017 staff turnover rates for all members in the House of Representatives. This analysis is part of a larger (forthcoming) project on Hill staff turnover that includes over 15 years worth of data. 2017 turnover rates for every House member can be accessed via the interactive map below.
Graphic created by Trey Billing, @TreyBilling
As previously discussed, "The level of staff turnover in a member’s office can have serious consequences on a lawmaker’s ability to fulfill his or her representational and policy duties. High levels of staff turnover can decrease the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire office." In order to zero in on which members of Congress are more prone to the negative consequences of high staff turnover, this LegBranch resource maps the 2017 turnover rates for each Representative.
Importantly, however, this analysis doesn't differentiate between voluntary or involuntary turnover, nor should viewers automatically interpret relatively high or low levels of turnover to be good or bad. In other words, staffers can depart a congressional office for a variety of reasons---of their own choosing or by being fired---and the data classifies them equally as turned over. Similarly, some staff turnover can be a signal of a healthy working environment in that inefficient aides can be replaced by more capable staff who hold more issue area expertise.
Moreover, a single year analysis is subject to one-off years of high or low turnover. As such, assumptions about turnover and an individual member's office environment should be limited. We will address questions of turnover patterns across offices in forthcoming work.
Tables 1 and 2 (below) depict the Representatives with the highest and lowest staff turnover rates in 2017, respectively. Included in the tables are the number of staff employed and the number of departing aides.
Additionally, the tables show the number and percentages of staff that departed a lawmaker’s office, but remained working in Congress (i.e., left one member and joined another member’s office or a congressional committee). This measure allows a deeper look at intra-office environments in that it highlights the lawmakers whose departing staff decided to continue working in Congress versus those who decided to leave the institution altogether.
Notes on methodology:
- Turnover rates are calculated by dividing the number of staff who departed a member's office during 2017 by the number of staff who received payment from a specific Representative at any point during the 2017 calendar year.
- Staff includes any aide associated with a specific Representative. This includes committee and leadership offices associated with an individual member (i.e., committee chairs and House leaders have higher staff counts because they are allocated additional staffing resources to help with their additional responsibilities).
- This analysis does not include interns, fellows, part-time, or temporary staffers.