Agents, Brokers See Sharp Employment Decline in September

Agent and broker employment in September experienced an expected decline, but the size of the drop was “unusual,” according to Insurance Information Institute President Robert Hartwig.

Agents and brokers shed 3,500 jobs from August to September after adding 300 jobs in August compared to July, according to the latest U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. In an analysis of the figures, Hartwig says, “Employment in this segment often falls in September -- 18 times in the last 22 years -- and this month was no exception, although the size of the drop was unusual.... It had not dropped that much since September 2011.”

He notes that while the number of jobs shed was unusual, the percentage change for agents and broker employment, 0.5 percent, is “fairly common,” having gone up or down by that percentage in 12 of the last 24 months. 

Despite the monthly drop for agents and brokers, employment is up by 8,100 jobs compared to the same month a year ago. Hartwig notes that agent and broker employment has now been over 650,000 since May 2012. 

Property and casualty insurers also experienced an expected drop in employment in September. The sector lost 300 jobs in the month, after losing 1,200 jobs the month before. Prior to the two-month decline, P&C carriers had added jobs in the previous six months.

Employment figures for this sector could be better when October’s figures are released. Hartwig says, “The employment-drop pattern breaks after September. In the past two-plus decades in October, P&C carrier employment rose about half the time and sank about half the time.” In September, he notes, employment has dropped every year for the last 22 years.

P&C employment is up by 1,600 jobs compared to September 2011. 


For the insurance industry as a whole, including P&C and life and health, employment for the month dropped by 5,200 jobs, a much sharper decline than the drop experienced in August (700 jobs). Only two sub-sectors saw job growth in the month: reinsurers (up by 200 jobs) and third-party administration (up by 100 jobs).

About the Author
Phil Gusman,

Phil Gusman,

Phil Gusman is Managing Editor of Prior to joining National Underwriter in 2008, he was Editor of Insurance Advocate. Gusman has also served as Associate Editor of Crackdown!, an insurance fraud publication, and Assistant Editor of Empire State Report, which covers New York politics. He graduated in 2002 from Plattsburgh State University in New York. Gusman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter: pgusman and PC360_Markets


Resource Center

View All »

Complimentary Case Study: Helping achieve your financial goals By:...

Find out how a Special Investigation Unit used TLOxp to save the company money and...

Do Your Clients Hold The Right CDL License?

Learn about the various classes of CDL Licenses and the industries that are impacted by...

Integrated Content & Communications: A Key Business Issue For Insurers

Insurers are renewing their focus on top line growth, and many are learning that growth...

High Risk Insurance Coverage in the E&S Market

Experts discuss market conditions, trends and projected growth in a rapidly changing niche.

Top E-Signature Security Requirements

This white paper covers the most important security features to look for when evaluating e-signatures...

EPLI Programs Crafted Just For Your Clients

Bring us your restaurant clients, associations and other groups and we’ll help you win more...

Is It Time To Step Up And Own An Agency?

Download this eBook for insight on how to determine if owning an agency is right...

Claims - The Good The Bad And The Ugly

Fraudulent claims cost the industry and the public thousands of dollars in losses. This article...

Leveraging BI for Improved Claims Performance and Results

If claims organizations do not avail themselves of the latest business intelligence (BI) tools, they...

Top 10 Legal Requirements for E-Signatures in Insurance

Want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases when adopting e-signatures? Learn how to...

Claims Connection eNewsletter

Breaking news on disasters, fraud, legal trends, technology, and CE initiatives for the P&C claim professional – FREE. Sign Up Now!

Claims-Handling Guidelines

Claims Magazine is providing the following free guidelines and regulations in order to help adjusting professionals stay abreast of each state’s unique property and casualty claim-handling requirements.

View our State Guidelines »

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.