Oversight Watch: State Agencies Struggling to Retain Employees

Jun 9, 2023 | Wisconsin Voices Blog

Andrew Mazza

A note from IRG Hamilton Roddis Fellow Andrew Mazza:

  • The Wisconsin Policy Forum released a report this Tuesday calling attention to the 16.4% turnover and 17.7% vacancy rates of FY 2022 among non-UW state agency employees, both of which are record highs.
  • A whopping 10.2% of the 28,000 employees left for voluntary reasons. The Departments of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Corrections (DOC), and Health Services (DHS) are especially suffering with 2022 turnover rates of 27.8%, 19.3%, and 19.0%, respectively, and vacancy rates of 46.1%, 23.4%, and 16.4% respectively.
  • This high rate of vacancies breeds concerns over a drop in average years of department experience—1.2 year average experience drop from 2014 to 2022—as well as the potential burnout of the remaining employees.
  • The report identifies pay, working conditions, and burnout from high vacancy rates as possible factors driving voluntary agency employee exits but points to the need for a deeper investigation. 

To read the full report visit: the Wisconsin Policy Forum