6 January 2023Insurance

US insurance employment edges up in Dec.; P&C carrier rebound stalls

The broad US insurance industry likely added another 3800 jobs in December, preliminary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggested, albeit with fresh signs that hiring in P&C carriers is stalling.

The December gain for the broad industry, if confirmed, would bring the annual gain to 39,600 jobs, a 1.4% year on year increase. The 2022 gains came amid heightened volatility after the market turned the corner on pandemic-era job losses starting from July 2021.

The prior month gain in job counts proved less robust than initially signalled, now trimmed to a 1500 job increase for the broad industry.

That November gain proved very focused on direct life, health and medical carriers while the rebound for P&C carriers stalled and readings for brokers and agencies, the mainstay of hiring throughout the pandemic, turned volatile.

Gains for direct P&C insurers, visible only since Q2 this year after a lengthy pandemic crash, show signs of having turned grudging. Monthly growth levels have ticked down consistently to near-zero from the initial April 2022 rebound. The job count for the group remains 30,800 jobs or 5.4% below its end-2019 pre-pandemic level.

Employment in brokerages and agencies, which rose nearly uninterrupted after a brief one-month dip at the onset of the pandemic, has turned volatile since August. Employment for the group is still up 76,200 or 9.0% from the low hit early in the pandemic before the quick and enduring recovery set in.

Job losses have been most visible in title insurers and claims adjusters, the data indicates.

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2 December 2022   Brokerages & agencies led a stronger than initially reported Oct. rebound; now up 3.8% y/y.
9 May 2022   New view to March shows job declines in claims adjusting & some non-life carrier lines.