SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The employee turnover rate at Sioux Falls City Hall rose last year after three consecutive years of decline.

Figures from the city's Human Resources Department show that 7.6 percent of the city's roughly 1,300 positions changed hands in 2017, an increase from the 6.5 percent turnover rate in 2016, the Argus Leader reported.

Employee retention is still strong despite the slight increase, said Bill O'Toole, director of Sioux Falls Human Resources.

The city's retention rate remained much lower than the national average for both public and private sector jobs, and also lower than the national average for state and local governments. Both rates were about 18 percent in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"We view these as very good numbers," O'Toole said. "Our low turnover, to me, says when employees get here, they like their jobs, they're fairly paid, they like their benefits and they stay."

Low unemployment in the area means there's a highly competitive job market. Private sector jobs that tend to pay more than civil service jobs are one challenge to the city's retention efforts, O'Toole said.

"Everybody is competing," he said. "We've got a good pitch to make — that working for the public sector is very rewarding."

The city has created a practice of hiring an independent consultant to study the city's wages and benefits and see how they compare with private sector jobs, O'Toole said. Segal Waters Consulting of Minneapolis began a study this winter.


Information from: Argus Leader,