The U.S. insurance industry added 2,800 jobs in September, marking a 0.12% increase from where the industry stood in August. September's job growth continues the upward trend the industry has seen since March, according to the latest employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS figures released on Oct. 5 showed that industry employment has increased by 12,800 jobs in 2012.
On a year-to-year basis, the industry, which currently has a 2.29 million-job work force, has added 11,600 jobs since September 2011.
BLS also provided adjusted employment figures for August that showed the industry added 5,500 jobs between July and August. That figure is down from the 5,900 new jobs BLS had previously reported (Best's News Service, Sept. 7, 2012).
Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, with most of that growth coming from the health care, transportation and warehousing sectors. However, BLS said employment remained roughly the same in most other major industries.
Last month, the unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points to 7.8%.That figure marks the lowest unemployment rate the country has seen since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
Regardless of the September employment report's political implications, the insurance industry is likely breathing easier lately thanks to the strong employment growth seen in 2012. This year's growth comes after several years in which industry employment fell sharply for months at a time.
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.
In August, the monthly additions to the insurance workforce affected the health (+0.14% to 335,600 jobs); title insurance (+1.97% to 72,600 jobs); agents/brokers (+0.05% to 653,900 jobs); and third-party administration of insurance funds (+0.15% to 138,000 jobs) sectors.
Sectors that saw a decline in their monthly employment included life (-0.42% to 335,600 jobs); property/casualty (-0.23% to 528,600 jobs); reinsurance (-1.07% to 27,700 jobs); and claims adjusting (-0.6% to 49,300 jobs).
On a year-to-year basis, the jobs added to the insurance industry since August 2011 came in health (+0.35% from 427,900 jobs); property/casualty (+0.15% from 527,800 jobs); title insurance (+1.97% from 71,200 jobs); reinsurance (+3.75% from 26,700 jobs); agents/brokers (+1.16% from 646,400 jobs); and third-party administration of insurance funds (+1.85% from 135,500 jobs).
But since last year, the industry saw employment decrease in life (-2.27% from 343,400 jobs) and claims adjusting (-1% from 49,800 jobs).
In terms of weekly wage changes between August 2011 and August 2012, the industry saw weekly pay increases in all sectors except health, which saw a 4.52% decrease to $1,199.73.
Wages rose in life (+4.55% to $1,366.17); property/casualty (+5.9% to $1265.13); title insurance (+1.16% to $1,082.98); agents/brokers (+2.27% to $1,042.37); and third-party administration of insurance funds (+6.6% to $1,018.95).