Skip page header and navigation

Temporary healthcare staffing revenue growth to decelerate to 6% this year: SIA report

Temporary healthcare staffing revenue growth to decelerate to 6% this year: SIA report

March 20, 2018

Main content

Growth in US temporary healthcare staffing revenue will decelerate to 6% this year from 8% in 2017 as the influx of demand from newly insured levels off, according to the “US Healthcare Staffing Market Assessment: 2018 Update” recently released by Staffing Industry Analysts.

For this year, growth in travel nurse, per diem nurse, locum tenens, and allied health is projected to be 7%, 5%, 4% and 6% respectively.

Periods of quickly accelerating growth in national health expenditures have generally led to acceleration in healthcare staffing growth; in 2014 and 2015, an influx of newly insured catalyzed healthcare staffing despite an economic backdrop that remained mild. The government projects growth in national health expenditures to exceed 5.0% for the next few years, representing solid growth but a downgrade from previous projections above 6.0%, partly because the elimination of the individual mandate is expected to cause a reduction in insured rates.

Despite an influx of new nurses, recruiting in nurse staffing - and in many other healthcare occupations - is especially difficult in the current environment. The 2017 average unemployment rate for registered nurses is an extremely low 1.4%, though that does not account for recent nursing school graduates who have not worked as nurses before.

“The long-term outlook of demand for healthcare professionals is quite favorable, but for staffing firms to fully take advantage they may need to gain more of a footprint outside the acute care setting, as the trend of an increasing share of healthcare provided in outpatient settings does not appear to be abating,” Marina Karp, SIA’s healthcare research analyst, wrote in the report.

The full report is available online to SIA members.