Study Shows Iowa with Significant Insurance Industry Job Growth

A recent 48-page study by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center Inc. said that Iowa now surpasses Connecticut for insurance company job growth.

From 1995 to 2005, insurance jobs in insurance companies in Connecticut increased by 2.4 percent, from 51,820 to 53,050, the study says, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers do not include insurance agencies, consultants or other insurance-related employment.

In the same period, insurers’ operations in Iowa increased employment by 8.8 percent, from 25,870 to 28,160.

Connecticut still has the highest concentration of insurance company jobs of any state, 3.2 percent of total state employment in 2005, about the same as in 1995.

Nebraska, at 2.1 percent, ranked No. 2 in that measure, due to companies such as Mutual of Omaha, Lincoln Benefit Life and Physicians Mutual Insurance Co.

“There’s a perception that insurance has a diminished role or diminished value in terms of the economy, and it’s not the case at all,” said Tom Bradley, vice president at Cronin and Company Inc., a Glastonbury firm that is working with the study’s sponsors.

Wages paid by insurers in Connecticut, for example, account for 6.1 percent of the state’s total wages, the study says. That’s nearly double the 3.2 percent in Iowa, the next highest state, which has been aggressively recruiting insurance operations since the 1980s.