Larger economic forces may have an impact on the turnover of staff in agencies providing specialized Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). How does state-wide unemployment relate to staff turnover rates at agencies who provide Medicaid-funded services to Ohioans with I/DD?


The Center for Epidemiological Research for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (CERIIDD) conducted a secondary analysis of data from the Ohio Provider Resource Association’s (OPRA) Compensation, Benefits, and Turnover Salary Survey from 2010 to 2017. The Salary Survey voluntarily collects annual wages, benefits, and agency turnover from members of OPRA. The staff turnover rate was calculated by totaling each agency’s average number of employees and divided by the total number of agency separations. The Ohio unemployment data for related years obtained from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Labor Market Information Civilian Labor Force Estimates Query tool. CERIIDD calculated the percentage of change for staff turnover and Ohio’s unemployment rate over time.


Figure 1 displays the results of the analysis. OPRA members have experienced increased turnover rates throughout the eight-year timeframe, while the overall unemployment rate has decreased. Staff turnover for reporting provider members increased  14.4 percentage points (39% overall) between 2010 and 2017 and Ohio’s unemployment fell 5.3 percentage points (51% overall) during that same time frame.


There appears to be an inverse relationship between Ohio’s unemployment rate and staff turnover for agencies providing Medicaid-funded services to individuals with I/DD between 2010 and 2017. Further analysis is needed to understand the nature of this relationship. While this analysis focused on aggregated staff turnover rates for provider members, the results lead CERIIDD to question this relationship specific to the role of Direct Support Professionals (DSP). Current research shows that a stable workforce, especially for the role of DSPs is best practice in supporting individuals with I/DD. The absence of information, like staff turnover, impedes the ability to understand the impacts of larger economic trends on services for individuals with I/DD receiving specialized Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports. To realize the effects of DSP stability on outcomes for individuals with I/DD, it is important to collect employment data like staff turnover for this role.

Barry and Associates. (June, 2018). Employee Turnover 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009 (Rep.).
Civilian Labor Force Estimates For: Ohio Not Seasonally Adjusted [Chart]. (2018). In Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services’ Labor Market Information. Retrieved June 25, 2018, from http://ohiolmi.com/asp/laus/LAUS_LFPR.asp


Data Brief: Staff Turnover and Unemployment (pdf)