New Business Lines, Shallow Talent Pool Drive Competitive Insurance Labor Market

August 30, 2018

The unemployment rate for the insurance industry is at a record 1.7 percent, significantly lower than the 3.9 percent national average, according to the latest iteration of the Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study conducted by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group, a part of Aon plc.

The report finds 63 percent of companies polled intend to increase staff in 2018.

“Expected increases in business volume and expansion into new markets are driving continued hiring,” says Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson. “This organizational growth, coupled with a shallow talent pool and virtually non-existent industry unemployment, results in an increasingly competitive labor market.”

The study found that job vacancies are still moderately difficult to fill. However, recruiting is slightly less difficult in some disciplines than it was one year ago.

Some additional key findings include the following:

  • Eighty-two percent of companies expect an increase in revenue growth, up three points from the January 2018 survey. Seventeen percent of companies expect flat revenue growth, up three points from January 2018.
  • The need for technology, claims and underwriting staff is expected to grow the greatest in the next 12 months.
    Executive, technology and actuarial positions are the most difficult to fill.
  • If the industry follows through on its plans, we will see a 0.6 percent increase in industry employment during the next 12 months, creating new jobs.
  • Companies are requiring more temporary staff. Thirteen percent of companies are planning to increase their use, up from 12 percent in July 2017.

The insurance labor outlook study has been conducted semi-annually since July 2009. Collecting revenue and hiring projections from organizations across all sectors of the industry, the survey provides a valuable look at the labor market outlook and hiring trends.

The study’s next iteration will occur in January 2019. For details on how to participate or to request more information about the survey, please contact Vince Albers of Ward Group at +1 (513) 746-2422 or

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