P&C-Insurer Employment Continues Downward Trend in February

NU Online News Service, April 16, 11:10 a.m. EST

Employment for property and casualty insurers fell in February compared to January, continuing a trend that began in 2008 during which P&C insurers have shed nearly 11,000 jobs, Insurance Information Institute President Robert Hartwig says.

From January to February, an I.I.I. analysis of the latest U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that P&C-insurer employment decreased by 200 jobs to 523,500 overall. Compared to February 2011, employment is down by 4,600 jobs. While noting the decline in employment since 2008, Hartwig says it’s difficult to pin down exact long-term-employment trends for P&C insurers because BLS recently recalibrated how it calculates employment figures in this industry.

Agents and brokers saw a big gain of 3,000 jobs in February 2012 compared to January, and a bigger gain of 5,900 jobs compared to February 2011. This was the largest gain of any insurance subsector in both the P&C and life and health industries in I.I.I.’s analysis.

Hartwig says this is one of the largest percentage month-over-month increases in the last two decades. He notes that February tends to be “an up month” for agent and broker employment, pointing out that employment figures for this subsector have risen in 16 of the last 23 years.

Elsewhere in the industry, reinsurers shed 300 jobs from January to February, bringing subsector employment to 27,600. Reinsurers have lost 1,600 jobs compared to February 2011.

Claims adjusters shed 400 jobs, bringing total employment to 47,300. Employment in this subsector is down by 1,800 jobs compared to February 2011.

For the insurance industry as a whole, employment is down by 100 jobs compared to January, for a total of 2,270,600. All subsectors besides agents and brokers and third-party administration showed decreases for February compared to January.

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