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Multiple Agencies

An Annual Report on Full-Time Classified State Employee Turnover for Fiscal Year 1999

March 2000

Report Number 00-707

Overall Conclusion

The statewide turnover rate for fiscal year 1999 was 17.58 percent for full-time classified state employees. This rate continues a high turnover trend from last year, in which the turnover rate was 17.37 percent. The State's rate is significantly higher than the average rate of state governments bordering Texas (15 percent), the average rate of local governments in which the State competes for employees (12 percent), and the national private sector rate (14.93 percent).

Employee turnover costs to the State are significant. We conservatively estimate the total cost of turnover in fiscal year 1999 to be between $127 and $254 million.

Employee turnover continues to remain high in both the public and private sectors. A good nationwide economy and significant industry trends, as in the information technology field, have contributed to employees making career changes. The Greater Austin area market also continues to have a strong economy and competition for talent. Since the largest number of employees work in the Austin area, the State increasingly must deal with the loss of experienced employees to the private sector.

Research suggests that the best strategies to retain employees are strong programs in healthcare benefits, new employee orientation, open communication with employees, and salary increases. One shot solutions rarely work; rather, a coordinated effort of both monetary and non-monetary rewards and benefits helps reduce turnover.

Key Facts and Findings

  • Generally, the lower the employees' salaries, the more likely they are to leave state employment.

  • The types of jobs state employees leave most often are in the employment, social services, procedures and information, legal, and medical/health fields.

  • State employees primarily leave state employment voluntarily and claim reasons not related to the job as the most common reason for separation. Only 7 percent claim they left because of inadequate salary, and fewer than 1 percent claim they left for lack of opportunity for advancement. These reasons, however, differ significantly from those expressed in national surveys. This difference suggests that the State has problems in collecting turnover data. This data collection problem affects the data analysis and, in turn, recommendations for appropriate solutions.

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