Insurers Looking to Continue Hiring in Very Competitive Labor Market

By | August 29, 2018

Insurance companies are hoping to hire additional employees over the rest of 2018 in a labor market that remains extremely competitive, according to a study from The Jacobson Group and Aon’s Ward Group.

About 63 percent of companies said they will be increasing their staff during the next year. According to the semi-annual report, 72 percent of personal lines carriers plan to boost staffing and 66 percent of commercial lines carriers will do the same.

Companies surveyed said that new technology, claims and underwriting staff are high on their list of hiring priorities. Executive, technology and actuarial positions are the hardest for them to fill.

The growth and hiring come as the insurance industry unemployment rate hovers at 1.7 percent, which is lower than the national average of 3.9 percent, according to government statistics,

Only five percent of companies said they expect to reduce staffing over the next year, a 5-point drop from in 2017.

Jacobson Co-CEO Gregory Jacobson said that growth and low unemployment are among factors making the labor market extremely tight.

“Expected increases in business volume and expansion into new markets are driving continued hiring,” Jacobson said in prepared remarks. “The organizational growth, coupled with a shallow talent pool and virtually non-existent industry unemployment, results in an increasingly competitive labor market.”

The study found that companies are filing the gaps by using more temporary staff, with 13 percent saying they are increasing the practice, up from 12 percent last year.

Some additional findings from the insurance labor market study:

  • Property/casualty companies are projecting a 0.47 percent boost in employment over the next year. Broken down, there is a 1.13 percent expected increase in hiring for P/C personal businesses, and 0.51 percent for P/C commercial.
  • 79 percent of medium-sized companies are adding new staff over the next year, 20 and 24 points higher, respectively, than small and large companies.
  • 72 percent of personal lines carriers plan to boost staffing and 66 percent of commercial lines carriers will do the same.
  • 82 percent of companies said they expect to grow revenue over the next yar, 3 points higher than in January.
  • 93 percent of medium-sized companies are optimistic about growing revenue, versus 80 percent for small companies and 76 percent for large companies.
  • For companies reducing staffing, 11 percent said that automation is driving reduced headcount plans. About 9 percent said reorganization would lead to job cuts.
  • Carriers are still struggling to find employees because of an aging workforce, mid-and executive level talent gaps and an unemployment rate below 2 percent.

The findings from the semi-annual survey are based on a market survey conducted earlier in the 2018 third quarter, drawing revenue and hiring projections from all insurance industry sectors.

Source: The Jacobson Group, Aon/Ward Group

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