Mar 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House staffer turnover hit decades high in 2021

Salary-weighted turnover rate among congressional staffers
Data: LegiStorm; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Offices for members of the House of Representatives had a higher rate of staff turnover last year than in decades, according to new data crunched by LegiStorm.

Why it matters: After a pandemic, fraught election year and attack on the Capitol, there's evidence House offices are feeling some of the same kind of worker challenges as the private sector.

By the numbers: Overall, Democrats had a harder time keeping staff than Republicans, according to LegiStorm.

  • But staffs for former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and a fellow Republican, Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), had the two highest turnover rates in the House last year.

Between the lines: The metric used by LegiStorm to track turnover takes into account staff position salary levels — lending more weight to higher-paid roles like chief of staff than lower-paid assistants, for example.

  • A "1" would mean an average of 100% of the staff in a House office departed at some point during a specific year.
  • On average for 2021, House offices had to find replacements for roles that made up 28% of total staff salaries — up from 18% the year before, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The data excludes part-time staffers, interns and fellows.
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