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Another former lawmaker tapped by President Obama also ranks among those running the most tumultuous offices. Hilda L. Solis, the California Democrat who served in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009 and later became labor secretary, lost an average of 44 percent of her staff each year between 2002 and 2007, a rate worse than all but four other members that decade.

As she took the helm of the Labor Department, Mrs. Solis pledged to improve working conditions for all Americans.

Time and time again, The Times’ statistical analysis mirrored serious documented abuse, illustrating the extent to which staff felt so mistreated that they were quitting their jobs, in some cases without others lined up, or being fired for trivial reasons en masse.

Rep. Joe Baca, California Democrat, had an average turnover of 37 percent of his staff each year during the past decade, peaking in 2008, when 12 staffers, including his legislative director, departed and 10 remained.

In 2006, congressional office staff said they felt forced to travel to California to volunteer for the campaign of his son, who was running for state office.

“Shortly after we got back, everyone started to leave,” one staffer told The Hill in 2006. “After [the trip], I became very skeptical. I didn’t trust anything. I just felt jaded. You don’t like getting suckered.”

Mr. Baca lost his re-election bid last year.

Staffer turned member

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the numbers suggest that the best members of Congress to work for include three House Democrats and one Republican senator, John Thune of South Dakota. All had annual turnover rates of about 11 percent.

“I was a former staffer myself, and I hope that results in my treating staff with respect,” said Rep. James P. McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat, whose average turnover rate of less than 11 percent ranks him best in both chambers. “It’s less me telling people it’s my way or the highway; it’s just ‘How do you feel, and tell me if I’m wrong.’ It’s not particularly formal with all this hierarchy. People call me Jim.

“Any member who tells you they do it on their own is not being honest. We’re inundated with thousands of issues, and to be a productive member of Congress you need your staff. I think you get a better work product at the end of the day when it’s about getting things done instead of being fearful,” he said.

Another lawmaker with just an 11 percent turnover rate is Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat. He has been a member of the House since 1993 and serves as the ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security.

Rep. Barbara Lee, California Democrat, was a former staffer, too, but her retention numbers are not nearly as impressive. She had 103 people work for her throughout the decade ending in 2011, not including temporary staffers, surpassed only by Mrs. Jackson Lee, and just ahead of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, New York Democrat.

In those offices with unusually high turnover, the problem is occasionally not the member himself, but the right-hand man with whom most staff interact.

Between 2005 and 2006, 14 of 22 staffers of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas Democrat, departed, and in recent years she has had an annual turnover rate of 36 percent. But those departing aides shouldn’t expect any help when they leave.

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