It appears that the insurance industry is playing catch up with the rest of the marketplace in response to a sluggish economy. According to a report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall insurance employment dropped by 7,600 in February. The report included new data previously unpublished, citing a January decline in insurance jobs of 5,200, rather than original stats that reported 4,400 jobs lost. These numbers do not coincide with the national unemployment rate, which remained steady at 9.7%, and the number of unemployed stayed the same at 14.9 million.
Based on new January 2010 data, the only line of insurance business that has added jobs is health insurance. Jobs in health insurance rose by 3,400 since January 2009 to 441,000. Title insurers, meanwhile, were exclusive in showing month-to-month improvement. That subset of the industry added 1,000 jobs to 69,300; however, year-over-year numbers saw an 11.4% decline in title insurance jobs.
Year over year, life insurers saw a drop in jobs of 3.4% between 2009 and 2010 to 345,700; property/casualty insurers declined 3.6% to 466,900; reinsurers declined 8.3% to 25,300; and agents and brokers, the largest category, declined 3% to 635,400. Third-party administrator jobs declined 3% to 126,700. In the claims area, jobs for claims adjusters fell 16.1% to 44,800. This sector’s report reflects a substantial loss of 2,100 jobs month-to-month.
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