July 2022 Travel Wage Trends by State

Traveling health professionals, primarily nurses, have been around for decades but have never been as popular or as well paid as they were during the COVID-19 pandemic. After seeing record highs in healthcare wages for travel nurses throughout most of the pandemic and demand that significantly outweighed supply, flourishing travel wages seem to be coming to an end. The drop in healthcare travel pay isn’t limited to just a few states. Travel nursing trends have seen steep declines nationwide, with healthcare wages following suit. 

Phasing Out Travel Wages 

Many healthcare systems that hadn’t already begun phasing out travel nurses started in earnest in early July. Giving up their temporary travel staff caused many hospitals across the nation to experience worsening staffing shortages. Some knew it would cause shortages, but they did it anyway, often not having a choice as the previously available COVID funds they’d used to help pay for healthcare travel wages dried up. 

Unfortunately, some health systems phased out travel staff by significantly cutting wages. Sometimes they’d give travelers 24 hours or less to decide whether they wanted to continue working at the lower rate or move on. Other travelers arrived at new assignments only to learn their contracts had been canceled and scrambled to find new travel positions. As hospitals reduced their reliance on high-cost temporary workers, many struggled to bolster their dwindling staff through local recruitment efforts. 

 

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States that Saw Healthcare Wages Increase 

Travel nurse pay in June appeared as if it might be making a comeback, with seven states recording increased healthcare wages. Although this number was only two higher than the five states with increased wages reported in May, it was the most states with wage hikes since the last substantial COVID surge. January saw record numbers of coronavirus cases, resulting in 43 states boosting healthcare travel pay. Despite the brief turnaround in declining healthcare travel wages, only one state recorded a jump in wages in July. However, the increase in Alabama was so minuscule to be considered unchanged. 

 

States that Saw Healthcare Wages Decrease

All 50 states recorded large enough drops in travel healthcare wages in March to count as actual decreases. It was the first time this had happened since February 2021. Of those states with plummeting wages, 29 had declines of 10% or more in March. In April, 48 out of 50 states recorded another drop in wages. 

 In July, 43 states indicated that healthcare wages had dropped at least 1% or more. Maryland had the most substantial decrease of 14.3%, marking the third consecutive month this state topped the chart. Maryland had the largest drop in June at 19.2%, the only double-digit drop that month, and in May with another double-digit drop of 12.4%. 

State

Avg Weekly Pay June

Avg Weekly Pay July

% Increase

Maryland

$1,993

$1,744

-14.3%

New Hampshire

$2,127

$1,879

-13.2%

Rhode Island

$2,461

$2,175

-13.1%

South Dakota

$2,803

$2,621

-6.9%

Idaho

$2,456

$2,306

-6.5%

Delaware

$2,345

$2,204

-6.4%

Wyoming

$2,912

$2,746

-6.1%

Vermont

$2,544

$2,402

-5.9%

Missouri

$2,104

$1,998

-5.3%

Florida

$2,084

$1,983

-5.1%

Utah

$2,294

$2,195

-4.5%

Maine

$2,473

$2,367

-4.5%

Colorado

$2,495

$2,388

-4.5%

Hawaii

$2,570

$2,461

-4.4%

Oklahoma

$2,167

$2,076

-4.4%

Pennsylvania

$2,676

$2,566

-4.3%

Louisiana

$2,478

$2,388

-3.8%

Minnesota

$2,732

$2,635

-3.7%

New York

$2,710

$2,615

-3.6%

South Carolina

$2,346

$2,265

-3.6%

Arkansas

$2,379

$2,297

-3.5%

Alaska

$2,710

$2,623

-3.3%

Indiana

$2,476

$2,398

-3.2%

West Virginia

$2,733

$2,648

-3.2%

Nebraska

$2,600

$2,520

-3.2%

Illinois

$2,625

$2,551

-2.9%

Oregon

$2,846

$2,766

-2.9%

Tennessee

$2,388

$2,322

-2.8%

Washington

$2,731

$2,660

-2.7%

Texas

$2,105

$2,051

-2.7%

Kentucky

$2,535

$2,470

-2.6%

Kansas

$2,274

$2,222

-2.3%

Arizona

$2,639

$2,581

-2.2%

Montana

$2,513

$2,461

-2.1%

Virginia

$2,473

$2,428

-1.8%

Nevada

$2,778

$2,734

-1.6%

New Mexico

$2,606

$2,568

-1.5%

Wisconsin

$2,253

$2,220

-1.5%

New Jersey

$2,785

$2,749

-1.3%

Mississippi

$2,248

$2,221

-1.2%

Iowa

$2,485

$2,457

-1.2%

Ohio

$2,672

$2,642

-1.1%

Michigan

$2,504

$2,479

-1.0%

 

States Where Wages Stayed About the Same

 With a greater number of states reporting higher levels of decreases, only seven states made the unchanged list in July. Healthcare wages in Alabama, Massachusetts and North Carolina also stayed about the same last month. Still, California had an increase of 1.5% and Connecticut, North Dakota and Georgia had decreases of 4.5%, 2.1% and 1.3%, respectively. 

State

Avg Weekly Pay June

Avg Weekly Pay July

% Increase

Alabama

$2,188

$2,195

0.3%

Connecticut

$2,254

$2,255

0.0%

North Dakota

$2,672

$2,673

0.0%

Georgia

$2,244

$2,235

-0.4%

Massachusetts

$2,646

$2,634

-0.5%

California

$2,973

$2,955

-0.6%

North Carolina

$2,469

$2,453

-0.7%


Schedule a demo with Vivian Health to learn how we can help you meet your permanent, local contract, travel, and per diem hiring goals.

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee

Moira K. McGhee is Vivian’s Content Writer & Editor. 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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