Posted on 11 Jan 12
Employment in the U.S. insurance industry added 3,300 jobs in December -- a 3.3% increase from the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The insurance-industry employment figures for December put the industry about on par with where it stood in April.
On a year-to-year basis, the industry, which currently sits at roughly 2.2 million jobs, is up just 0.39% since December 2010.
The figures released by BLS also included adjusted employment numbers for November that showed virtually no job growth between October and November. The adjusted figures showed that in November, the industry lost 100 jobs. That number is down from the decrease of 700 jobs BLS had previously reported
Nationally, the overall unemployment rate fell to 8.5% in November, and nonfarm payroll employment rose by 200,000. Employment continued to trend up in transportation and warehousing, retail trade, manufacturing, health care and mining.
Total insurance industry payrolls are reported each month on a seasonally adjusted basis, along with the current month's nonfarm payrolls. Separately, data by industry segment -- broken out by various insurance carrier and non-carrier categories -- are available only on an unadjusted basis for the prior month.
The slight drop in jobs the industry saw in November primarily affected health (-0.8% to 420,700 jobs); property/casualty (-2% to 452,300 jobs); title insurance (-4.1% to 64,900 jobs); and third-party administration of funds (-1.1% to 127,200 jobs). All other areas saw modest improvements in employment: life (+0.03% to 374,800 jobs); agents/brokers (+0.4% to 643,200 jobs); and claims adjusting (+0.2% to 48,400 jobs). Reinsurance remained exactly even at 27,500 jobs.
In terms of wages, all sectors except for title insurance saw upticks in their weekly wages on a year-to-year basis.
Life insurance weekly wages increased 0.8% to $1,033.54; health 4.6% to $1,054.53; property/casualty 5.1% to $1,085.06; agents/brokers 3% to $818.06; claims adjusting 10.07% to $1,035.12; and third-party administration of claims 5.6% to $821.71. Reinsurance saw the most dramatic increase in weekly wages, jumping 18.9% to $1,152.36.
Marking a double-digit decline, title insurance saw its average weekly wages fall 15.7% to $790.83.