September 2022 Travel Wage Trends by State

In September 2021, all 50 states saw travel wages increase, with more than half having an increase of greater than 10%. Healthcare travel wage trends in late 2022 have been vastly different, with September 2022 seeing a continued drop in travel nurse pay. As individuals throughout the United States adapt to the “new normal” of ongoing but typically less severe COVID-19 infections, hospitals are seeing fewer Covid patients. Fewer cases mean hospitals aren’t grappling with overflowing waiting rooms and capacity issues as last year, and exceptionally high travel pay has become a thing of the past, at least for now. Despite many healthcare facilities facing continued shortages of staff nurses without the benefit of extra pandemic dollars to pay for temporary personnel, travel nurse wages are still falling in most areas of the country. 

 

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States that Saw Travel Wage Increases 

Zero states reported an increase in healthcare travel pay in July 2022, but August 2022 saw a bit of a bounce back, with five states recording increases between 1.8% and 3%. Unfortunately, this trend didn’t continue in September. Only Texas had a pronounced increase in travel wages, the first month the state has had an increase since June. 

Texas followed its slight bump of 1.8% in June with relatively substantial dips of 2.7% in July and 3.9% in August. The state saw travel wages bounce back by 3.3% in September. Two other states posted slight improvements in wages, but the amounts were small enough to place them in the unchanged category for the month. The remaining 47 states saw declines to some degree. 

 

State

Avg Weekly Pay August

Avg Weekly Pay September

% Increase

Texas

$2,066

$2,137

3.3%


States that Saw Travel Wage Decreases

As expected, most states recorded decreases in healthcare travel pay for September. Like August, 38 states recorded at least a 1% drop for the month, and many were repeat visitors on this list. Maryland has ranked first for having the most significant decrease in travel nurse wages for five consecutive months, beginning with a drop of 12.4% in May 2022. The state also saw reductions of 19.2% in June 2022, 14.3% in July 2022 and 22.9% in August 2022. September’s drop was 15.4%, somewhat of an improvement over the previous month. 

Rhode Island moved up to the second-highest drop in healthcare travel pay after having the third-highest decrease for the last three months. Formerly, New Hampshire was in second place during those three months but dropped to fifth in September, with the lowest double-digit decrease of 10%.

While all five states with double-digit drops also saw double-digit reductions last month, the amounts were slightly smaller this month. Also, eight states recorded double-digit drops in August, three more than this month. So, while healthcare travel wages are still dropping, the decline seems to be slowing to a certain degree, at least this month. 

 

State

Avg Weekly Pay July

Avg Weekly Pay August

% Increase

Maryland

$2,125

$1,842

-15.4%

Rhode Island

$2,143

$1,872

-14.5%

Connecticut

$2,219

$2,003

-10.8%

Delaware

$1,795

$1,625

-10.5%

New Hampshire

$2,244

$2,040

-10.0%

Pennsylvania

$2,539

$2,339

-8.6%

Massachusetts

$2,345

$2,170

-8.1%

New Jersey

$2,873

$2,739

-4.9%

Colorado

$2,425

$2,313

-4.8%

Minnesota

$2,830

$2,714

-4.3%

West Virginia

$2,701

$2,598

-4.0%

Hawaii

$2,650

$2,551

-3.8%

Alabama

$2,327

$2,247

-3.6%

Tennessee

$2,310

$2,230

-3.6%

Florida

$1,981

$1,915

-3.4%

Oklahoma

$2,177

$2,116

-2.9%

Arkansas

$2,363

$2,298

-2.8%

South Dakota

$2,676

$2,603

-2.8%

Georgia

$2,315

$2,257

-2.6%

Virginia

$2,464

$2,403

-2.5%

Michigan

$2,544

$2,484

-2.4%

Idaho

$2,516

$2,462

-2.2%

Mississippi

$2,268

$2,220

-2.2%

Indiana

$2,531

$2,480

-2.1%

Arizona

$2,687

$2,633

-2.0%

South Carolina

$2,340

$2,294

-2.0%

Kentucky

$2,598

$2,552

-1.8%

New Mexico

$2,619

$2,574

-1.7%

Iowa

$2,640

$2,596

-1.7%

Kansas

$2,313

$2,275

-1.7%

North Carolina

$2,519

$2,478

-1.6%

Vermont

$2,498

$2,461

-1.5%

Maine

$2,539

$2,503

-1.4%

Nebraska

$2,619

$2,584

-1.3%

New York

$2,772

$2,740

-1.1%

North Dakota

$2,867

$2,835

-1.1%

Washington

$2,672

$2,646

-1.0%

Montana

$2,470

$2,447

-1.0%


States Where Wages Stayed About the Same

Any change in healthcare travel pay of less than a full 1% puts states on the list of being unchanged for the month. Among this list, two states saw a slight bump, but nine more saw subtle decreases between 0.1 to 0.9%. Wyoming’s travel wages increased by half a percent, but Wisconsin only saw a 0.1% increase, resulting in an average raise of just $2 per week. On the high end of decreases resulting in relatively unchanged wages, Alaska saw a drop of 0.9%, almost enough to warrant inclusion on the list of decreased wages for the month, where it appeared in August with a reduction of 1%. 

State

Avg Weekly Pay August

Avg Weekly Pay September

% Increase

Wyoming

$2,837

$2,850

0.5%

Wisconsin

$2,308

$2,310

0.1%

Illinois

$2,649

$2,647

-0.1%

Louisiana

$2,346

$2,344

-0.1%

California

$3,032

$3,025

-0.2%

Oregon

$2,780

$2,772

-0.3%

Utah

$2,273

$2,266

-0.3%

Nevada

$2,829

$2,818

-0.4%

Missouri

$2,176

$2,162

-0.7%

Ohio

$2,611

$2,594

-0.7%

Alaska

$2,702

$2,678

-0.9%

 

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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