Unemployment for insurance carriers and related businesses increased slightly month-over-month in May to 2.5% but remains below the overall U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8%, according to the June 2021 edition of PULSE from The Jacobson Group. In April 2021, insurance-industry unemployment stood at 2%.
Since February 2021, the insurance industry as a whole lost 15,000 jobs, with the property & casualty, life, and health sectors losing 4,000 jobs each. This job loss is partly due to the tough labor market riff with job openings but too few interested prospects to fill positions, said the talent recruitment company, which also noted that figures may improve as the final adjusted numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are released.
“As the country continues toward its goal of being fully ‘open,’ it’s likely work arrangements and differences in expectations between workers and employers will affect job openings, turnover rates, and possibly even unemployment levels,” Jacobson said.
However, the insurance job market is better positioned now than a year ago. At roughly 2.8 million jobs, industry employment increased by about 16,300 jobs in May 2021 compared to May 2020.
Insurance labor market highlights
The Jacobson Group taps the most recent job data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to inform its monthly PULSE report. Overall, the information shows uneven improvement across insurance sectors year-over-year in April 2021:
- Employment in the property and casualty sector decreased 1.2% YOY, and wages increased 2.8% YOY.
- Employment of agents and brokers increased 2.7% YOY, and wages increased 4.2% YOY.
- Employment in claims increased 1.5% YOY, and wages increased 0.5% YOY.
- Employment in title insurance increased 12.9% YOY, and wages increased 1.3% YOY.
- Employment in TPAs decreased 3.5% YOY, and wages decreased 1.8% YOY.
- Employment in reinsurance decreased 4% YOY, and wages increased 13.1% YOY.