The insurance industry’s unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point to 1.9% in September, reaching its lowest since the start of the pandemic. However, while the unemployment rate is low, industry employment also continues to drop. This is likely due to the complexity of the job market, and the effects of not only the Great Reshuffle, but also the Great Realignment. As vaccine mandates are implemented within some organizations and we enter the winter months, individuals are likely to continue adjusting their priorities, expectations and goals.
The insurance industry saw unemployment drop from 4.2% in July to just 2.9% in August. This came with a slight decrease in industry jobs, continuing a five-month decline. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports industry employment is just shy of where it was one year ago, our Q3 2021 Insurance Labor Outlook Study indicates growth in the coming year; 93% of insurers plan to maintain or increase their staff sizes in the next 12 months.
The overall economy saw an optimistic employment report in July, gaining nearly 950,000 jobs and exceeding economists’ predictions. The national unemployment rate is also encouraging, reaching its lowest since the start of the pandemic.
By now, most professionals are familiar with the term, “the Great Resignation.” As physical offices begin to reopen and the economy continues to rebound, the overall rate of quits in the United States was at a record high in April*. Within insurance, while relatively high, the rate of quits was still slightly below that reported for August 2020 and January 2021. “The Great Reshuffle” seems to be more appropriate for the current reality of the insurance industry.
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.