||(c) 2011 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
||A.M. Best Company, Inc.
The U.S. insurance industry gained 2,500 jobs in October, on top of a smaller-than-previously reported drop in September, according to the latest employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a year-to-year basis, industry employment, still standing at approximately 2.2 million jobs, is down 0.8% since October 2010.
The BLS previously reported a decline of 2,800 jobs in September (Best's News Service, Oct. 7, 2011). The new report revised that figure to 1,700 losses.
Nationally, the number of jobs climbed by 80,000 as unemployment slipped a notch to 9.0%. Payroll employment has increased an average of 125,000 jobs per month over the past 12 months. Private-sector employment grew, with continued modest gains in business and professional services and health care. Government employment continued to decline, with most of the October drop from non-educational positions in state government. .
Total insurance industry payrolls are reported each month on a seasonally adjusted basis, along with the current month's nonfarm payrolls. Separately, data by industry segment -- broken out by various insurance carrier and noncarrier categories -- are available only on an unadjusted basis for the prior month.
Agents and brokers (+0.8% to 638,300) were the only sector to see year-to-year job growth, based on newly released September 2011 data. All other areas of insurance saw declining employment: life (-0.7% to 373,500), health (-1.9% to 417,400), property/casualty (-2.4% to 452,900), reinsurance (-1.1% to 27,500), claims adjusting (-2.1% to 47,400) and third-party administration of claims (-1.2% to 128,200).
Title insurers saw a double-digit decline in weekly wages (-13.9% to $814.84) on a year-to-year basis, while reinsurers almost doubled that percentage on the upside (+26.3% to $1,127.78). All other sectors saw gains in weekly pay: life (+1.3% to $1,039.58), health (+6.9% to $1,037.62), property/casualty (+6.5% to $1,096.52), agents/brokers (+2.3% to $809.41), claims adjusting (+6.6% to $977.03) and third-party administration of claims (+4.5% to $813.28).
Sean P. Carr
Washington Bureau Manager