In recent weeks, an estimated 22 million Americans filed for unemployment or underemployment benefits as the economy struggles with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York Times, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), estimates the current unemployment rate in the U.S. is around 13% — the highest since the Great Depression.
Only time will tell how the economic strains brought on by the coronavirus impact long-term employment in the insurance industry; however, recent data suggests a positive outlook for insurance professionals.
The unemployment rate among insurance carriers and related businesses declined dramatically from 2.6% in January 2020 to 1% in February 2020, says Jacobson, a provider of insurance talent services. Insurance carriers also added 5,500 jobs during the same period.
As of March, the insurance industry’s unemployment rate remains at 1%.
In its latest edition of PULSE, Jacobson reveals other insurance employment trends. According to the firm, year-over-year in January 2020:
- Employment in the property and casualty sector increased by 2.7%, and weekly wages increased by 0.4%.
- Employment of agents and brokers increased by 2.4%, and weekly wages increased by 7.3%.
- Employment in TPAs increased by 0.6%, and weekly wages increased by 5.2%.
- Employment in reinsurance decreased by 0.7%, and weekly wages increased by 3.7%.
- Employment in claims decreased by 8.2%, and weekly wages increased by 20.4%.
“While the labor market showed continued strength in February, the BLS conducted its surveys prior to the spike in coronavirus cases outside of China,” said Jacobson. “It’s likely next month’s report will reflect the impact of COVID-19 and other economic headwinds. By remaining informed and agile, with comprehensive talent strategies in place, insurers will be best prepared during these times of uncertainty.”
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