Another month, another decline in insurance jobs ... but at least this time, the slide is reduced from pervious periods. New data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that the insurance industry lost 2,400 jobs in the month of November, which is the 13th straight month the industry has lost jobs.
In the past year, insurance jobs have declined by 60,300 (2.6%), according to BLS statistics, which is less than the 4.3% seen in nonfarm jobs nationwide. However, total U.S. nonfarm payrolls dropped by 11,000 in November. And while the overall unemployment number has increased by 7.9 million since the start of the recession in December 2007, the unemployment rate has declined in the past month from 10.2% to 10%.
On a positive note, BLS reported that jobs in professional and business services rose considerably in November, though most of the gain came from temporary help services.
Based on just-released October 2009 data, health insurers continued to be the only sector that has seen growth on a year-to-year basis. Employment in health insurance rose 1.8% since 2008 to 462,700 jobs, and the category was also up slightly month-to-month.
The only other two categories inching up in month-to-month numbers were claims adjusters and third-party administrators, though both are still down in a comparison of October 2008 to October 2009 numbers. Claims adjusters have fallen 16% to 46,500. Third-party administrators are down 6.8% to 121,900. Life insurers have declined 3% to 344,800. Property/casualty insurers have slipped 3.7% to 470,400. Title insurers are down 12% to 67,300. Reinsurers fell 5.1% to 27,900. And the biggest category, agents and brokers, have marked a modest 2.7% decrease to 648,300.
As the number of workers declined across the industry, average weekly earnings for nonsupervisory positions were mostly up from October 2008 to October 2009—except for title insurers, who were paid $821.02 a week, 1% less than the year before; and third-party administrators, who were paid $757.34, which was down 1.7% from the year before, but was up slightly month-to-month.
Life insurers were up 5.6% to $997.83; health insurers up 3.7% to $938.40; Reinsurers up 12.9% $835.30; agents and brokers up 1.7% $745.54; and claims adjusters up 0.5% $885.78. The highest-paid category, property/casualty, was at $998.31, up 1.1% over 2008.
All told, insurance industry payrolls were at 2.241 million in November, according to BLS statistics.
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