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  • Labor Department Says Insurance Industry Gained 7,500 Jobs in February

    March 13, 2018 by Best's News Service

    WASHINGTON – The insurance industry gained 7,500 jobs in February 2018 from January 2018, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Numbers from January and February 2018 both remain preliminary. They show the job gain was 0.28% for February 2018 over January 2018. Updated preliminary estimates for January 2018 show the industry lost 1,500 jobs as opposed to the 1,700 initially reported (Best’s News Service, Feb. 2, 2018). The preliminary job figures for February halt a slide of reported job losses in three of the prior four months.

    Overall insurance industry employment for February 2018 was 2,670,200, a preliminary increase of 27,300 — about 1.01% — over the February 2017 level.

    Total nonfarm payroll employment nationwide increased by 313,000 in February 2018, compared with January 2018, while the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1% for the third consecutive month.

    The number of unemployed in February 2018 remained at the same 6.7 million level reported in January 2018. February job gains occurred in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities, and mining, construction, food services and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing.

    The BLS reports insurance industry total payrolls monthly on a seasonally adjusted basis, along with the current month’s nonfarm payrolls. Separately, data by insurance industry segments — broken out by various insurance carrier and non-carrier categories — are available only on an unadjusted basis for the prior month, in this case January 2018.

    Only two of eight insurance industry sectors made jobs gains in January 2018 over December 2017, led by direct health and medical insurance carriers (up 0.12% to 507,100 jobs) and direct title insurance and other direct insurance carriers (up 0.11% to 92,200 jobs).

    Five of eight insurance industry sectors showed job losses in January 2018 over December 2017, led by third-party administration of insurance funds (down 1.05% to 188,500 jobs); claims adjusting (down 0.84% to 58,800 jobs); direct property/casualty carriers (down 0.67% to 552,100 jobs); insurance agencies and brokerages (down 0.57% to 804,800 jobs); and direct life insurance carriers (down 0.4% to 345,500 jobs). Jobs in the reinsurance sector remained flat at 25,900.

    On an annual basis, five of the eight insurance industry sectors showed job growth in January 2018 over January 2017. These were led by direct health and medical insurance carriers (up 3.28%); direct title insurance and other direct insurance carriers (up 1.43%); insurance agencies and brokerages (up 0.89%); reinsurance carriers (up 0.78%); and direct property/casualty carriers (up 0.51%). Sectors showing year-to-year job losses were led by claims adjusting (down 3.29%); direct life insurance carriers (down 1.12%); and third-party administration of insurance funds (down 0.37%).

    Wages increased in four of seven insurance sectors in January 2018 over December 2017. Sectors where wages increased were led by direct life and health insurance carriers (up 3.88%); third-party administration of insurance funds (up 3.70%); direct property/casualty insurers (up 1.16%); and reinsurance carriers (up 0.81%). Sectors where wages decreased from January 2018 over December 2017 included claims adjusting (down 5.58%); direct title insurance and other direct insurance carriers (down 1.86%); and insurance agencies and brokerages (down 1.67%).

    On an annual basis, average weekly wages dropped in five of seven insurance sectors in January 2018 over January 2017. Sectors where wages fell were led by reinsurance (down 8.94%); direct title insurance and other direct insurance (down 7.87%); direct property/casualty (down 3.80%); claims adjusting (down 1.90%); and insurance agencies and brokerages (down 1.79%). Sectors where wages increased year-to-year were led by third-part administration of insurance funds (up 2.09%); and direct life and health insurance (up 0.36%).

    (By Thomas Harman, Washington Bureau manager, BestWeek: Tom.Harman@ambest.com)

    Originally Posted at AM Best on March 9, 2018 by Best's News Service.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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