Healthcare wages across Florida saw a lot of ups and downs throughout 2021, especially for nurses. Florida’s fluctuating wage trends were reflected in Miami, the second-most populated city in the state. Like the rest of the country, Miami nurse wages were often influenced by surging and waning COVID-19 cases. Compensation is the highest factor impacting many nurses’ decision to either stay in their current job or move to greener pastures. Combined with the added stress of the ongoing health crisis, it may not be a surprise that many nurses are considering leaving the field altogether. Finding the right employer may help mitigate factors causing workers to leave nursing. Permanent nursing jobs in Miami are on the rise and there are some great Miami employers in the healthcare field.
Growth of Permanent Nursing in Miami
Florida boasts the third-highest employment level of registered nurses nationwide and the Miami/Fort Lauderdale metro area ranks eighth among metros nationwide with the highest employment of RNs. The demand for full-time RNs statewide is projected to grow 31% between 2019 and 2035. The ever-increasing need for nurses to fill healthcare jobs in Miami is primarily driven by an aging population, increased nurse turnover, and the growing number of nurses heading into retirement. Despite the great need for more nurses in Miami and throughout Florida, healthcare wages among nurses in both the state and the metro area tend to be moderate compared to others.
Trends in Miami Nurse Wages
Skilled nurses are always in demand but healthcare wages frequently fluctuate based on various causes. Over the last two-plus years, the primary cause has been the COVID-19 pandemic. Relevant events in Miami, Miami-Dade County, and Florida that impacted wages between May and December of 2021 were almost always directly related to the ongoing pandemic. Throughout every wave that filled hospitals to capacity and sometimes beyond, COVID cases have undoubtedly been the biggest contributor to the rise and decline in Miami nurse wages.
In May of 2021, average Miami nurse wages were at their lowest point and held steady at a minimum of $19 per hour and a maximum of $29. June saw wages for Miami nurses take their first kick up with the minimum average jumping to $30 and the maximum to $33. Wage trends for the remaining six months of the year and potential impacts on these wages included:
- July healthcare wages in Miami trended down slightly with a maximum hourly rate of $31 at the lowest point of the month, but the overall average mirrored June at $30 for the minimum and $33 for the maximum. The limited movement in wage trends may have been impacted by June having the lowest COVID-related deaths reported nationwide than any other month in 2021, followed by only a slight increase in deaths in July.
- August healthcare wages saw the average high of $35 per hour at the beginning of the month jump to $46 in Miami. COVID-related deaths spiked nationwide with increased infections and deaths likely driven by the highly contagious Delta variant sweeping the nation. In Miami-Dade County, cases spiraled higher than ever before, despite higher-than-average vaccination rates among Floridians.
- September healthcare wages started strong as cases continued rising throughout Florida. The maximum average per hour rate in Miami was $45 at the start of the month, peaking at $46 on several days. However, the average began to wane towards month-end as cases began to drop in Miami-Dade County and statewide. The average high dipped to $42, then $38 per hour. By the end of the month, the average maximum rate was only $30 per hour.
- October healthcare wages in Miami ticked up to $33 per hour at the start of the month but dropped to an average per hour max of $29 for the next two weeks. Rising vaccination rates may have influenced the continued decline in COVID cases countywide. However, during the final 10 days of October, average max rates were back up to $36 per hour. During this period, COVID cases remained comparatively low, so the increase in wages may have been precautionary.
- November healthcare wages stayed steady at a maximum rate of $36 per hour for nearly half the month before dropping to $32. The average minimum rate in Miami for the entire month was $32 per hour, mirroring the max on many occasions. The COVID surge in November was primarily impacting the Midwest part of the country. Average daily COVID cases in Miami-Dade had dropped to 148 on November 30, lower than they’d been since the first two cases were reported in Florida in March 2020. The major decline in cases likely impacted waning Miami nurse wages.
- December healthcare wages started low at an average maximum of $34 per hour but Miami-Dade County would soon experience its worst surge of the pandemic. As the fast-spreading Omicron quickly became the dominant variant nationwide, cases took a major upswing. The daily average of COVID cases remained at 148 on December 1 in Miami-Dade County with zero new cases reported. Due to the steady rise, the daily average shot up to 14,275 by December 31. The average maximum hourly wage in Miami spiked to $52 from December 8th through the 21st. Wages then took a major dive on the 22nd to $35 per hour for the max and $32 for the minimum for the rest of the month.
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