Cost of Turnover in the Direct Care Workforce

Source: Iowa Department of Public Health Direct Care Worker Advisory Council, 2011

Each time an employee leaves a job, expenses are created for the employer. The time required and out-of-pocket costs paid to replace employees can be quite significant in occupations with high turnover rates. Historically, direct care professionals have filled positions paying low wages, lacking benefits including health insurance, and receiving employer-specific training again and again as they change jobs. These conditions contribute to the higher-than-average frequency of workers leaving their jobs and the profession. The cost of turnover in the direct care workforce was examined in 2011 by the Iowa Department of Public Health Direct Care Worker Advisory Council to better understand the current and future impacts of turnover.

The Estimated Cost of Turnover in Iowa’s Direct Care workforce:
It is estimated that turnover of one direct care professional in Iowa creates $3,749 in direct expense for the employer. Using this Iowa cost per individual of $3,749, the direct cost of turnover in the direct care workforce for 2010 is estimated at $117,000,000, rising to $126,000,000 in 2011. The following table illustrates the estimated cost of turnover through 2014.

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