The U.S. insurance industry added just 100 jobs in February, showing that growth in the industry slowed from the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On a year-to-year basis, the industry, which currently sits at roughly 2.3 million jobs, is down about 2,000 jobs from where it stood in February 2011.
The figures released by BLS also included adjusted employment figures for January that showed the industry added 500 jobs between December and January. That figure is down from the increase of 1,100 jobs that BLS had previously reported (Best's News Service, Feb. 3, 2012).
Nationally, the country added 227,000 jobs in February, but unemployment remained flat at 8.3%. BLS reported the country particularly saw job growth in professional and businesses services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing 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 noncarrier categories — are available only on an unadjusted basis for the prior month.
The monthly jobs growth the industry saw in January primarily affected reinsurance, which saw employment increase 4.4% to 28,200 jobs. All other sectors saw a decline in employment between December and January.
On a year-to-year basis, the job growth the industry saw in January affected property/casualty (+0.7% to 525,900 jobs); title insurance (+1.3% to 70,900 jobs) reinsurance (+8.9% to 28,200 jobs); agents/brokers (+0.1% to 642,600) and third-party administration of funds (+0.8% to 135,300 jobs). But there were declines in life (-2.2% to 341,100 jobs); health (-0.2% to 428,700 jobs); and claims adjusting (-1.9% to 47,700 jobs).
In terms of wages, all sectors except title insurance saw upticks in their weekly wages on a year-to-year basis, following the trend seen in recent months.
Life insurance weekly wages increased 0.6% to $1059.60; health 0.2% to $1065.08; property/casualty 8% to $1,160.22; agents/brokers 5.2% to $870.84; claims adjusting 2.1% to $997.62; and third-party administration of funds 6.5% to $874.43. Reinsurance again saw the most dramatic increase in weekly wages, jumping 31.6% to $1,349.08.
Title insurance saw its average weekly wages fall 9.7% to $806.52.