P/C Insurers Lost 900 Jobs in October, Labor Department Data Shows

December 7, 2011

Property/casualty insurers lost 900 jobs overall in October, according to latest government data. But insurers in other segments did better. Life insurer employment was up by 1,400. Employment at medical expense insurers was up 1,600. Reinsurer employment was unchanged.

The Insurance Information Institute released a report yesterday based on latest detailed insurance industry data just published by the U.S. Labor Department.

Also in October, the number of agents and brokers (life and non-life together) rose by 3,100. But this merely reverses the nearly-equivalent drop of 3,400 jobs in September, the Institute’s report noted.

The number employed in claims adjusting rose by 900 in October. In general, October has been a month for hiring agents and brokers: in the 22 years since the U.S. Labor Department began collecting data, employment in agencies and brokerages increased in all but four Octobers.

Employment at P/C carriers has been falling more or less steadily since July 2008; from then to October 2011, 41,200 jobs were lost, down 8.3 percent. Medical expense carriers had a similar experience. In that same time frame, employment went from 441,500 to 419,000, a drop of 22,500, or down 5.1 percent.

These two industry segments are more transaction-oriented than is the life/annuity segment, which is more asset-management oriented. This might account for why, in contrast, in that same time frame, employment at life/annuity carriers grew by 17,100, or up 4.8 percent, the Institute said.

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