Unemployment for the insurance carriers and related activities sector rose slightly in May to 2.5%. While the insurance industry as a whole has lost 15,000 jobs since February, the average unemployment rate for 2021 so far is a mere 2.3%. Property and casualty, and life and health carriers have seen the bulk of the job losses at 4,000 each.
Most insurance professionals will agree that a diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce is essential; however, progress toward making this goal a reality has been slow. In the past decade, the number of Black individuals working in insurance rose by just 3 percentage points, to 12% in 2020. This lack of diversity is especially apparent within the C-suite and other leadership roles. According to Reuters, only three of 168 senior executives and 13 of 119 board members at the top 10 U.S. insurers and brokers (by market value) are Black. There is still much work to be done; yet many organizations are often unsure of where to begin or how to make a meaningful impact.
The insurance industry saw the unemployment rate fall to just 2% in April, its lowest since March 2020 and comparable to 2019’s pre-pandemic numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported a loss of 7,000 insurance jobs; however, it’s likely these numbers will be revised in subsequent months’ reports. The overall U.S. economy saw unemployment remain relatively flat and added 266,000 jobs; unfortunately, this is far from the 1 million job increase many economists were anticipating.
Last spring, insurance leaders quickly pivoted and adjusted their management strategies to accommodate the remote environment. Now, even as some organizations begin to reopen their physical office locations, work-from-home and hybrid arrangements are here to stay. As leaders develop and evolve their virtual management skills, it’s vital to account for individual employee needs, work styles and life stages to build supportive and productive teams.
The healthcare industry is complex and rapidly changing. New regulations, cultural shifts, legislature, technological advancements, patient needs and more have created a dynamic environment primed for ongoing opportunities and challenges. Our dedicated health team is heavily embedded in the health insurance community, regularly speaking with clients about their human capital needs.