The number of IT jobs increased by 11,000 in the United States during July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the insurance industry added 2,700. BLS also adjusted employment figures for June, revising the number of new jobs in the industry up to 6,700 from the 6,000 new jobs previously reported. The number of insurance industry related jobs has increased by 21,200 since July 2012, to 2.4 million, according to a report from A.M. Best.
According to Alan Krueger, chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, the national unemployment rate for July was the lowest the United States has seen since December 2008.
However, budget issues continue to weigh on insurance IT hiring, according to Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, an international consulting firm that follows the concerns of CIOs and CFOs. “Based on our interviews with over 120 CIOs in the last 30 days, we concluded that CIOs are not in a great hurry to hire new staff until they see a clear trend as to what is happening with the economy,” Janulaitis said. “Sixty-seven percent of the CIOs we interviewed do not see any real push to expand staffing over the next 12 months.”
Nevertheless, after a review of BLS data, Janco said there was an improvement in computer systems design and related services of 4,300 jobs, vs. 7,900 in May; data processing and hosting related services added 3,600 jobs vs. 2,500 jobs in June; Telecommunications added 3,500 jobs vs. 500 in May. The only decrease see was for information services, which lost 300 jobs vs. 400 in June.
Indeed, according to an A.M. Best report, no insurance industry sectors experienced employment declines, IT or otherwise, between May and June. Increases came in life, which increased 0.75 percent to 336,600 jobs; health increased 0.70 percent to 471,700 jobs; property/casualty increased 0.31 percent to 525,000 jobs; title increased 1.73 percent to 76,500; reinsurance increased 4.6 percent to 27,300; agents/brokers increased 0.36 percent to 663,600 jobs; and third-party administration of insurance funds increased 0.76 percent to 145,100.
Claims adjusting was flat at 50,700 jobs, A.M. Best said. On a year-to-year basis, only life insurance and claims adjusting saw a decrease. Life insurance dropped 3.36 percent from the 348,300 jobs the sector had in June 2012, and claims adjusting fell 3.06 percent from 52,300 jobs.
During the same period, A.M. Best said employment rose in health, which increased 2.12 percent from 461,900 jobs; property/casualty increased 1.10 percent from 519,800 jobs; title increased 6.99 percent from 71,500 jobs; reinsurance increased 5.81 percent from 25,800 jobs; agents/brokers increased 0.27 percent from 661,800 jobs; and third-party administration of funds increased 3.5 percent from 140,200 jobs.
According to A.M. Best, wages rose in life and health, which increased 6.77 percent to $1,349.26; property/casualty increased 5.56 percent to $1,332.54; title increased 1.42 percent to $1,106.69; reinsurance increased 12.83 percent to $2,276.74; agents/brokers increased 8.91 percent to $1,140.34; claims adjusting increased 14.56 percent to $1,328.24; and third-party administration of insurance funds increased 17.57 percent to $1,158.14.
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