The property/casualty insurance jobs outlook is slowly, gradually getting better – or at least not getting worse. A growing number of insurance businesses are hiring more workers this year. Meanwhile, many others are still making do with their current staff level, keeping an eye on the economic recovery and gradually firming insurance prices, according to a report by Insurance Journal.
What happens in the insurance industry has repercussions for the rest of the country. The entire insurance sector, which the Insurance Information Institute estimates employs 2.2 million Americans, is an important part of the overall U.S. employment market.
Insurance Journal editors spoke with dozens of property/casualty insurance companies and agencies and came away with reports from each region of the country on employment opportunities and advice for job-seekers.
Reported increases in hiring of temporary insurance workers is seen as a signal that more permanent hires could be coming soon.
Major U.S. insurance companies with online careers sections have significant job vacancies advertised on their online career web pages. They include Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Allstate, State Farm, Main Street America Group, Farmers and CNA.
Liberty Mutual posted more than 500 U.S. job openings in the past month alone. They include openings in Boston, Seattle and Portland, Ore. But the competition is fierce, “as we receive thousands of applications every month,” Liberty Mutual said.
At The Travelers Cos., there are about 360 U.S. job opportunities including jobs in Houston, Little Rock, Ark., and Colorado Springs, Colo.
Regional carriers with opportunities include FCCI in Florida and Meadowbrook Insurance in Michigan.
Large brokers looking to hire include Willis, Lockton, Hylant, Brown & Brown and wholesaler AmWINS.
Employment prospects vary greatly by region and job specialty. The Southeast, Northeast and Texas appear to have the most active insurance hiring climates. Insurance Journal found insurance job prospects in California to be among the weakest.
Technology is limiting certain opportunities in personal lines and service positions across the country, but sales jobs are always in demand by agencies. And, no matter where they are, insurance employers still have some difficulty finding quality people with technical insurance knowledge. Perhaps a detected rise in enrollment in insurance education courses will help fill that need going forward.
Advice From Pros
Job hunting takes time and effort.
“My advice to job-seekers is that if you are unemployed, you need to make finding a job your full-time job,” advised Todd Mitchell, who operates New York-based insurance recruiting firm Todd Mitchell Associates.
Savvy candidates are increasingly using social media, such as LinkedIn, to engage potential employers.
“As an employer, we see that the social media have become more prevalent,” said Shawn Tubman, manager of corporate employment at Liberty Mutual.
“Social media has given candidates a good avenue to connect directly with the company,” Tubman said. “That’s really different from years past.”
Insurance Journal also identified 15 trends in insurance employment and recruitment, including the importance of social networking, what jobs are in most demand and what regions are most promising for jobs.