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2021 Healthcare Wage Trends Year-End Review

States across the nation have suffered through several waves of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic with more than 850,000 lives lost from early 2020 to the present. Reuters’ analysis of state and county data indicated an average of 3,300-plus people died daily at the peak of the epidemic in January 2021. Cases in the U.S. finally began to decline during the spring and early summer of 2021, likely due in large part to vaccines becoming widely available. However, the Delta variant swept through the nation later in the year, spiking COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths again. In December 2021, the fast-moving Omicron variant caused daily COVID-19 cases to climb to record highs. Hospitals and healthcare workers already feeling the strain from Delta infections were being pushed to the limits once more at the close of 2021.


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has severely exacerbated preexisting shortages in the healthcare workforce. Many nurses and other healthcare professionals have cited burnout as the reason they’re leaving or considering leaving the profession. In an attempt to lure more nurses to short-staffed facilities and replace those out sick with or who succumbed to the virus themselves, some states increased healthcare pay rates during certain months in 2021. As COVID cases waned, many states dropped wages, so trends in healthcare wages resembled a roller coaster ride throughout the year.


pexels-victoria-borodinova-1620653The winter months saw a rough start but slowly began seeing drops in COVID deaths


January 2021

January was the cruelest month for COVID-19 in the United States with 105,434 deaths nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than any other time during the pandemic, thus far. A major push for vaccination began in earnest in January. Despite the high number of COVID cases, healthcare wages only increased 2.8% overall nationwide, going from a weekly average of $2,375 in December 2020 to $2,444 in January 2021. Only 29 states saw healthcare wages increase, while 14 states reported decreases. The remaining seven states had a change of less than 1% either up or down, so the healthcare pay rate was considered unchanged for January.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Mississippi took the top spot for having the highest bump in healthcare pay in January with an increase of 14.6%. However, the state would post wage decreases over the next three months, including a drop of 13.2% in March coinciding with a distinct drop in COVID-related deaths. While the state posted its highest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in January 2021 with 1,329, deaths had dropped to 279 by March.

  • South Carolina posted the second-highest healthcare wage increase at 11.6% in January. It would also post decreases over the next three months with the largest drop of 20.8% in March. Like Mississippi, South Carolina also saw the greatest number of COVID-related deaths in January with 2,103. This number will fall nearly 50% in February.

  • Georgia rounded out the top three with its healthcare wage increase of 8.3%. Pay rates in the state would also decrease over the next three months, including a drop of 14.2% in March. January in Georgia had the most deaths involving COVID, which was much higher than Mississippi and South Carolina at 3,964. However, the state’s COVID mortality rate would shrink to half this number in February.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • Wyoming had the largest drop in healthcare pay rate in January and the most significant drop the entire year at 28%. It was also one of the few states that saw a decrease in COVID-related deaths in January, dropping from 183 in December to 100. After healthcare wages remained relatively unchanged in the state in February and dropped another 4% in March, it recorded increases every other month of 2021 until December when wages dropped 1.7%. Wyoming’s highest wage increase of 8.3% occurred in September.


  • Montana saw a much lower drop of 9.8% in healthcare wages in January 2021 and its COVID-related deaths dropped to 178, less than half the 376 recorded in December 2020. The state would record wage decreases until May when it would post its first increase of 1.7%. The most significant increases were 10.1% in August and again in September when COVID cases rose substantially in the state.


  • Idaho recorded a drop in healthcare pay rates of 7.9%, the third-largest decrease during January. It also saw COVID deaths drop to 264 from 449 in December. The month with the highest mortality for Idaho in 2021 was October when 654 deaths occurred. However, increased deaths due to COVID first began trending up in August when the rate nearly quadrupled. The rise in COVID deaths coincided with the state’s 16.6% increase in healthcare wages, the largest jump for Idaho all year. 

February 2021

COVID-related deaths in February dropped to less than half that of January with 48,473 deaths reported to the CDC nationwide. By the end of February, 50 million COVID-19 vaccinations had been administered, which may have played a role in fewer deaths for the month. The national average for healthcare wages decreased by 4% in February and all but nine states saw healthcare pay rates drop. Of the nine, only six had a measurable difference and the other three were considered unchanged since the increase was less than 1%. More states recorded decreased healthcare wages, which included 37 with decreases between 1.1% and 16.1%. Another four states had less significant drops of less than 1%, classifying them as unchanged.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Tennessee had the highest increase in healthcare pay in February at 4.9%, despite COVID-related deaths dropping to 985 for the month compared to 2,829 in January. The state also recorded an increase of 3.6% in January but would follow up the two consecutive bumps in pay with two declines. March saw a decline of 7.3% and in April, wages dropped another 5.7%. The state would post increases for all other remaining months of the year except October, which dropped less than 1%.


  • North Dakota also saw an increase in wages of 4.4% in February after posting a decline of 5.2% in January. COVID-related deaths dropped to 32 in February, about a third the amount from January. The state would post decreases in healthcare wages of 8.9% in March and 5.7% in April, followed by seven straight increases with the highest being 17.9% in September.


  • Florida had the third-highest increase with wages going up 1.8%, while deaths involving COVID dropped from 5,015 in January to 3,195. Unlike most states that saw the worst COVID-related mortality in January, Florida’s was in August when the rate was double that of January with 10,365 deaths. August was also when the state recorded its most significant healthcare pay rate increase of 14.7%.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • New York saw COVID-related deaths drop from 4,344 in January to 2,216 in February and healthcare wages followed suit. The state recorded the highest drop in wages nationwide at 16.1%. It recorded another drop of 15.1% in March, an 8.1% decline in April, and a 3.1% dip in May before going back up 3.1% in June, then recording increases every month for the rest of the year.


  • New Jersey wasn’t far behind New York regarding its decline in healthcare pay, which was 15.8% for February. It also posted decreases of 14.3% in March and 5.4% in April, then recorded increases every other month except November. COVID-related deaths in February totaled 1,449, down from 2,476 in January.


  • Minnesota’s healthcare wages dropped 15.2% in February and deaths involving COVID dropped to 300 from 807 in January. The state recorded decreases in healthcare pay rates for the first four months of 2021 and increases for the remainder of the year.

March 2021

The U.S. had administered 100 million COVID-19 shots by about mid-March and COVID-related deaths dropped by more than half again with 23,196 reported nationwide compared to 48,473 in February. March also saw the biggest overall drop in healthcare wages with the average weekly pay going from $2,349 to $2,136 nationwide, a marked difference of 10%. Every state posted decreased healthcare pay rates and only Rhode Island had a drop of less than 1%.


Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • South Carolina had the highest decrease at 20.8% after posting the second-highest increase in January. The state would appear in the top three for having the highest increases again in May and June. COVID-related deaths in South Carolina dropped to less than half that of February at 480 in March compared to 1,063.


  • Utah recorded the second-largest decrease in healthcare pay for March at 19.4%, which marked the third consecutive month the state posted a decline. However, healthcare wages would increase every month for the remainder of the year though deaths involving COVID dropped from 172 in February to 97 in March and totaled 62 in both the months of April and May before steadily rising for the next four months.


  • South Dakota had the third-highest drop in wages at 17.5% and COVID deaths dropped from 70 in February to 39 in March. The state would have a relatively low COVID mortality rate for the next five months until spiking to 118 in September. However, South Dakota would record increased wages in every other month besides January and December.

pexels-elina-fairytale-4543640With vaccines more widely available in the spring, virus cases declined


April 2021

Nationwide COVID-related deaths in April totaled 18,732, a significant improvement of April 2020 when recorded deaths totaled 65,495. However, in early April 2021, the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7), first identified in the U.K. was found in all 50 states and research indicated it was more infectious and another surge in cases was feared. All adults nationwide became eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in mid-April. More than half the states nationwide reported virus cases had significantly declined during the last two weeks of April and healthcare wages in most were still trending down. Only five states had significant enough increases to be counted, while three were listed as unchanged and 42 recorded decreased wages.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Michigan had the highest increase in April at 4.1% after recording a substantial drop of 11.8% in March and another drop of 9% the month before that. The increase may have stemmed from the state’s COVID-related deaths nearly tripling to 1,729 in April from 580 in March. Wages in the state would increase every month for the rest of the year.


  • Wages in Delaware rose 2.8% in April after dropping significantly by 12.5% in March. Deaths related to COVID barely increased with 71 in April compared to 69 in March. Deaths would drop the next three months before rising again.


  • Utah saw its first increase in healthcare wages for 2021 and landed in the number three spot with a 2.6% bump in pay, despite the continued decline in COVID-related deaths as previously mentioned. Its biggest pay increase was 12.1% in August.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • Pennsylvania had the highest decrease in healthcare pay at 10.5%. COVID-related deaths increased to 1,248 in April from 1,004 in March but would drop to 891 in May and 338 in June. While this seemed to indicate cases were on a downward trend and wages would likely follow, the state posted increases in wages every month for the remainder of the year.


  • Florida’s wage decrease was 9.6%, the second-highest of the month and its second consecutive drop following a drop of 10% in March. The state would record increases in healthcare wages over the next five months only to drop again during the last three months of the year. Its COVID-related deaths in April were 1,509, down from 1,827 in March.


  • California ranked third with a decrease of 8.8% in April, which followed a decrease in March of 9.6%. COVID-related deaths in April dropped from 2,334 in March to 996. After a much less significant decrease of 1.2% in May, the state would report increases for the remainder of the year.

May 2021

Wages started predominately trending back up again in May though overall COVID-related deaths nationwide dropped in May and would drop again in June before starting to creep up again. Deaths involving COVID totaled 14,933 in May and the national average of healthcare wages increased by 1.3%. A total of 31 states posted a large enough increase to be counted, while 11 stayed the same and eight decreased.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Kansas took the number one slot for having the highest healthcare pay rate increase in May. Although it increased by 7.1%, the state's largest increase of 10.2% occurred in August. Wages in Kansas stayed relatively the same the first months of the year, then fell 7.8% in April – the biggest drop of the year – and 5% in March – the second-biggest drop. COVID-related deaths rose to 83 from 80 in April, so about the same.


  • South Carolina made its third appearance on a top three list in May, this time for having the second-highest increase at 6.5%. Previously, it had the second-highest increase in January and the largest decrease in March. May also saw a drop in deaths involving COVID at 213 compared to 332.


  • Arizona’s COVID-related deaths were about the same with 241 in May compared to 235 in April. The state had the third-highest jump in healthcare pay at 5.9% in May and would see increases in each of the remaining months of 2021 except October.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • Rhode Island had the largest decrease in healthcare wages in May at 5.65%. The state would see an even number of months with increases and decreases and would hit the top three list again in November but for its increase. Rhode Island’s COVID mortality dropped from 54 in April to 39 in May and would drop to 19 in June.


  • Hawaii reported a decrease of 4.8%, the second-highest amount in May. It was the fourth consecutive month the state’s healthcare pay rates declined but they went up every other month in 2021 except December. COVID deaths in Hawaii jumped from 14 in April to 22 May but dropped back down to 12 in June.


  • Louisiana’s healthcare care wages dropped by 4.5% in May, the third-highest amount. However, the state posted larger declines of 9.7% in March and 8.7% in October. Deaths involving COVID also dropped from 334 in March to 181 in April to 175 in May.


pexels-kampus-production-8170239The Delta variant became more prevalent during the summer months


June 2021

Nationwide COVID-related deaths for June were 7,972, the lowest monthly average reported in any month in 2021, and the lowest monthly amount reported since March of 2020 when the total was 7,163. The Delta variant became a major concern in June as its prevalence across the country doubled in just two short weeks. The national average healthcare pay rate in June increased by 4.2% and nearly every state saw increases in wages. While only one state had a decline and six states basically stayed the same, 43 states saw increases this month.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Vermont had the largest wage increase in June at 8.8% though no deaths were reported. In 2021, it had the most COVID-related deaths reported in December, the same as 2020. While the previous year’s number was 67, it was 10 less in 2021. Despite having a much lower mortality rate compared to most states, Vermont saw healthcare pay increase in all but three months in 2021.


  • The second-highest increase in wages was a tie between South Carolina and Utah at 8.1%. While deaths involving COVID dropped in South Carolina from 213 in May to 106 in June, Utah’s were trending back up. It had 67 deaths in June compared to 62 in May, but this number would nearly double to 117 in July and continue rising for the next three months.


  • Florida made its third appearance on the top three list in 2021, this time for having the third-highest increase in wages at 7%. Previously it had the third-highest increase in February and the third-highest decrease in April. COVID deaths fell from 1,323 in May to 833 in June, but the number would double in July to 1,992 and hit the state’s highest death count recorded during the pandemic in August with 10,365 so June was likely already seeing hospitals begin to fill.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

June saw only one state with a drop large enough to be counted. Delaware’s healthcare wages decreased by 2.5% but it had much steeper drops, including a rather significant one in August. Its COVID-related deaths went from 41 in May to 25 to June to 17 in July.


July 2021

Nationwide COVID-related deaths for July went up slightly with 11,162 reported compared to 7,972 in June. July also brought the disappointing discovery that current COVID vaccinations weren’t as effective against the highly transmissible Delta variant. The national average weekly healthcare pay rate was $2,292 in July compared to $2,129 in June, indicating an overall increase of 7.1%. Every state posted increased healthcare wages in July with the smallest increase at 1.1% so there also weren’t any states with wage trends considered unchanged for the month.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • The top slot was a tie between Idaho and Missouri, which both had an increase in healthcare wages of 11.1%. While Idaho’s COVID-related deaths jumped only slightly from 52 to 59, Missouri’s leaped from 284 to 734 and would spike some more in August to 1,396. It was the second time Idaho made the list as it had the third-highest decrease in pay in January, but it was the first and only time Missouri would appear in the top three either up or down.


  • The second-highest increase was in Arkansas with a jump of 10.8%. It was also the only time this state made the list. COVID-related deaths surged from 127 in June to 417 in July and more than doubled in August to 968.


  • The third-highest increase was also a tie between Florida and Pennsylvania at 9.9%. Pennsylvania would find itself in the third-place slot again in October, while Florida was in the top three for either increases or decreases in February, April, June, and October. Although it didn’t appear within the top three in August, the state would break its record for most COVID-19 hospitalizations, surpassing its previous total more than a year and a half before the widespread availability of vaccines and it would report its highest number of COVID cases since the pandemic began.

August 2021

Nationwide COVID-related deaths for August saw a major jump with 48,351 deaths compared to 11,162 in July. It was also higher than the same time in 2020 when reported deaths were 29,901. Increased infections and deaths were likely largely driven by the Delta variant, which was declared the predominant strain in August. The CDC reported that Delta was twice as contagious as previous variants and caused more severe illness. By mid-August, children hospitalized with COVID-19 hit a record high, as those aged 12 or younger weren’t yet eligible for vaccinations. CDC data indicated that the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines efficacy fell from 90% to approximately 66% following the Delta variant’s spread. August also saw the largest jump in average wages across the nation in 2021 at 11.7% and most states saw healthcare wages trending up with only four reporting decreases.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Once again, the top slot was a tie, this time between Alaska and Arizona. While this would be the first of three consecutive months Alaska would be on this list before decreasing in the fourth month, Arizona had appeared only once before in May. Both states saw an increase in wages of 21.1% while COVID-related deaths in Alaska rose fourfold from 25 to 108 and surged from 290 to 790 in Arizona.


  • Georgia had the second-highest increase at 19.4% and deaths jumped from 306 in July to 2,716 in August, nearly nine times higher. The state boasted zero new COVID-19 cases on August 1 and a seven-day average of 2,995, but new cases had jumped to 10,738 by August 31 and the seven-day average was pushed up to 9,244. Georgia previously appeared in the top three increases in January but would also appear in the top three decreases in November.


  • New Mexico took spot number three with its healthcare wage increase of 17.8% and COVID-related deaths soared from 50 in July to 241 in August, which would rise to 332 in September. New Mexico also had zero new cases on August 1and had a seven-day average of 276 but new cases had jumped to 829 by August 31 and the state’s seven-day average soared to 821.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • Delaware was the only state with a wage decrease in June and it took the top slot for the largest decrease in August. At 27.9%, it was the second-highest recorded drop in healthcare wages in 2021 and comes at an odd time when most states’ wages are going up along with infections and deaths. COVID-related deaths in Delaware jumped from 17 in July to 57 in August and would rise to 135 in September, the highest it’d been since February.


  • Rhode Island had the top slot for highest decrease in May and appears in the second-highest spot in August with its drop of 6.4%. No deaths were reported in July, but 37 were reported in August, which would jump to 64 in September.


  • Connecticut rounded out the list with a decrease of 3.7%. It was the only time it would appear in the top three and would counter the decline with an 18.9% increase in September that puts it in fourth place for the month. 

pexels-tatiana-syrikova-3933404Although the booster helped with the downturn in cases, health workers still had to grapple with the effects of the Omicron variant 


September 2021

Nationwide COVID-related deaths in September 2021 surged to 62,449 deaths, much higher than the 19,147 deaths reported in September 2020. As healthcare workers continued grappling throughout September with what many considered the third wave of COVID-19, more adults were reportedly getting vaccinated and Pfizer’s booster shot was approved late in the month for certain at-risk individuals. September wage trends saw a steep rise in both the national average and all states recorded increased healthcare pay rates for the month. The overall increase nationally was 9.3% with the average weekly wage increasing from $2,595 to $2,862.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • After recording the second-highest decrease in wages of the year in August, Delaware reported the highest increase in healthcare wages of any state in a single month for 2021. At a 39% increase, it was the most substantial one-month change in wages up or down. On September 1, Delaware had a seven-day average of 370 COVID cases, which included 328 new cases that day. By the end of the month, the state recorded a seven-day average of 441 cases and 531 new cases for the day. Deaths involving COVID would jump from 57 in August to 135 in September, the highest it’d been since February.


  • Alaska had the second-highest wage increase in September at 20.2%, which also marked the second consecutive month the state reported a wage increase. COVID-related deaths rose from 108 in August to 184 in September. Hospitalizations in Alaska had also increased with 181 on the 1st compared to 207 on the 30th of September.


  • New Jersey snagged the spot for the third-highest wage increase at 19.5%. This marked the second time New Jersey made a top-three list, but previously it had appeared with the second-largest drop in pay in February. 

October 2021

After booster shots began rolling out in September, COVID cases in October began to decline. Nationwide COVID-related deaths for October also took a downturn with 41,627 compared to 62,449 deaths in September, but they were still higher than the 24,915 posted in October 2020. October wage trends indicated healthcare pay rates were still trending up, however, the national average was only 1.7%, much lower than the increases seen over the four previous months. Within states, wage trends were still primarily going up but the increases were becoming much smaller reflecting the national average. Overall, healthcare pay went up in 35 states, stayed the same in 11, and decreased in four.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Alaska recorded a wage increase for the third consecutive month. After tying for first in August and taking second in September, it returned to first place all alone in October with an increase of 9.6%. COVID-related deaths also went up for the third month in a row, jumping from 184 in September to 211 in October.


  • Oregon had the second-highest healthcare wage increase in October at 8.1%. Although the state posted relatively high increases over the previous two months, October would mark the first time the state made the top-three list. Its highest increase was 13.9% in August and its highest decrease was 6.3% in April. Oregon’s COVID-related deaths dropped in October to 618 from 915 in September.


  • Pennsylvania saw healthcare wages increase by 6.1% in October, putting the state in third for the highest increase that month. Pennsylvania had the largest decrease among states in April, but it would tie with Florida for having the third-highest increase in wages in July. Pennsylvania started October with 5,352 new COVID cases but posted a monthly high of 6,289 on October 3rd. Deaths involving COVID rose to 2,244 in October compared to 1,364 in September and would continue rising in November and December.

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • Louisiana saw a wage decrease of 8.7% in November, putting it in first place for the largest drop. Previously, Louisiana had the third-largest drop in May. Deaths related to COVID fell from 1,183 in September to 414 in October and continue to fall through the rest of the year.


  • Florida was one state with lots of ups and down in wages throughout 2021 with seven increases and five decreases. February saw Florida listed as the third-highest state with increased salaries and it had the second-highest decrease in April and the third-highest increase in June, then tied for third again in July. It ranked second in October and COVID-related deaths finally saw a drop from 8,299 in September to 2,622.


  • New Mexico had the third-largest decrease in wage in October at 3.4% after having the third-highest increase in August. COVID deaths barely dropped in October, going from 332 in September down to 316, but they would rise to 502 in November.

November 2021

About mid-November, the Midwest saw a surge in COVID-19 infections among unvaccinated individuals. The FDA approved boosters for all adults mid-month and the CDC approved them by months-end in answer to potential waning and efficacy issues concerning the newest variant that would soon spread rapidly across the U.S. Africa announced the new Omicron variant in late November and by December 7, it was already in 19 states. Nationwide COVID-related deaths in November dropped again with 30,939 recorded for the month. November wage trends still saw an increase in the national average and more states’ healthcare pay rates went up than down, but increases continued to be much smaller than they’d been in the past. Altogether, wages increased in 32 states, stayed the same in 11, and decreased in seven.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Maine and Nebraska tied for the top spot with an increase of 6.8% in November. Maine began November with zero new COVID-19 cases and 224 patients hospitalized with the virus, but it ended the month with 914 new cases and  351 hospitalized COVID patients. COVID-related deaths jumped from 155 in October to 219. Nebraska had 1,471 new COVID cases reported on November 1, then recorded a high of 3,026 new cases on November 29. Hospitalizations rose from 433 to 573 by the end of the month, but COVID-related deaths remained basically unchanged.


  • The second highest healthcare wage increase also saw a tie between Maryland and Rhode Island at 5.8%. Maryland recorded 448 new COVID cases on November 1 and a high of 2,803 on November 27 and had 751 hospitalized COVID patients on the first and 899 by the end of the month. Rhode Island’s increased wage rate mirrored its amount in October, but it finished in fourth that month. Rhode Island had 558 new COVID cases at the beginning of November and a high of 2,412 on November 29.


  • Minnesota took third place in November with an increase of 5.6%, just under second place. Previously, it had the third-largest drop in wages in February but this was the first month it ranked for an increase. The state saw 849 COVID-related deaths, up from 593 in October.


Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • Alaska had the top decrease in November after three consecutive months of increases. Healthcare wages dropped 4.3% and deaths caused by COVID dropped to 99 down from 211.


  • Georgia would also record a decrease of 3.8% in healthcare pay and deaths would drop to a third as much at 514 compared to 1,534 in October. Georgia was among the states with the highest increase in January and August.


  • Alabama posted the third-highest increase in November, despite COVID-related deaths dropping significantly from 834 in October to 284 in November. It’s the first month Alabama would rank for any change in healthcare wages.

December 2021

Nationwide COVID-related deaths for December were slightly higher than the previous month at 34,711 but much better than in December 2020 when deaths nationwide totaled 98,120. Omicron quickly became the dominant variant by late December. While it seemed to spread even quicker than previous variants, illnesses seemed to be less severe. However, the sheer number of illnesses still stretched hospital capacities throughout the month. December 2021 also marked one year since the vaccine rollout began, but the U.S. closed the year with a death toll of more than 830,00 since the pandemic began and health officials warning of a surge in cases in January 2022. Healthcare wages in December still trended up to a lesser degree with an average 1.1% increase nationwide, including increases in 24 states, decreases in 15, and 11 stayed relatively the same.


Top 3 States With Wage Increases

  • Wisconsin had the highest increase in healthcare pay in December at 6.7%. It was the first time the state made it on a top-three list as it saw COVID-related deaths increase from 870 to 1,171. Deaths have increased during each of the last five months. Wisconsin reported its first case of the Omicron variant on December 4, hospitalizations climbed to the highest point of 2021 on December 13, and the state reported more than 10,000 COVID-related deaths in the state on December 30.


  • Maryland took the second slot with an increase of 6.1%, marking the second month in a row it ranked second, only this month it did so all alone. Deaths involving COVID rose slightly from 317 in November to 353. On December 24, Maryland set a record for COVID cases reported in a single day with 9,859 positives recorded from tests conducted December 23, which shattered the previous record of 6,869 cases set just one day earlier.


  • New York and Utah tied for third with an increase of 5.1%. Previously, New York ranked first for the largest decrease in wages in February and Utah had the second-largest decrease in March, third-largest increase in April, and tied for second in June. COVID-related deaths increased in New York from 1,071 in November to 1,771 but decreased in Utah from 354 to 172. The New York State Health Department reported a record-high of 44,431 new COVID-19 cases statewide on December 24 and warned of a distinct increase in new hospital admissions for children. 

Top 3 States With Wage Decreases

  • After recording the single highest increase of any state in September 2021, Delaware reported a 12% in healthcare wages in December. The decrease was despite COVID-related deaths rising to 127 in December compared to 91 in November.


  • Alaska posted the largest drop in healthcare pay among all states in November, then reported an even larger drop of 11% in December. Death involving COVID fell dramatically in December, dropping to 32 from 99 in November.


  • Montana had the second-highest drop in healthcare wages to begin the year in January 2021 and ended the year with the third-highest drop in December. Wages decreased 5.6% and marked only the second time Montana made the list in 202. COVID-related deaths fell from 303 to 128.

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Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee is Vivian’s Senior Editor & All-Around Wordsmith. As part of the Vivian Health team, she strives to help support the empowerment of nurses and other medical professionals in their pursuits to find top-notch travel, staff, per diem and local contract jobs.

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