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TMCNet:  Labor Study Indicates an Industry Return to Pre-Recession Rates; Recruiting Difficulty Continues

[February 21, 2014]

Labor Study Indicates an Industry Return to Pre-Recession Rates; Recruiting Difficulty Continues

CHICAGO --(Business Wire)--

According to the latest iteration of the Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study conducted by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group, nearly 62 percent of companies polled intend to increase staff in 2014. This is the highest rate in the history of the survey. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported the unemployment rate for the insurance industry is at two percent, the lowest we have seen since March of 2007.

"The industry is seeing a return to its pre-recession state, bringing increased confidence, optimistic staffing and robust revenue forecasts," says Gregory P. Jacobson, co-chief executive officer of Jacobson. "We are seeing a smoothing effect in the market as things begin to stabilize."

The study found that organizations are experiencing difficulty recruiting for most positions. Though product line has a significant impact on the ease of filling positions, companies responded that most roles are still moderately difficult to fill.

"With the diminishing unemployment rate and the severe skills gap throughout the industry, companies are struggling to find experienced individuals to fill their open positions," according to Jacobson.

Some additional key findings include:

  • The number of companies expecting to see a decrease in staffing during the next year is at four percent, the lowest point in the history of the survey.
  • Technology, underwriting, sales/marketing and claims positions continue to be the most in demand.
  • Actuarial, analytics, executive and technology positions continue to be the most difficult to fill.
  • If the industry follows through on its plans, we will see a 0.89 percent increase in industry employment during 2014, creating new jobs.

For more highlights, download the full insurance labor market study results summary. For commentary, view the recorded webcast.


The Semi-Annual Insurance Labor Outlook Study has been conducted twice a year since July 2009. Collecting revenue and hiring projections from organizations across all sectors of the industry, the survey provides the industry with a valuable look at labor market outlooks and hiring trends.

The study's next iteration will occur in July 2014. For details on how to participate, contact Vince Albers of Ward Group at valbers@wardinc.com.

About The Jacobson Group:

The Jacobson Group is the leading global provider of insurance talent. For more than 40 years, we have been connecting insurance organizations with professionals from the board room to the back room on both a permanent and temporary basis. We offer a variety of solutions including executive search, professional recruiting, emerging talent, RPO, temporary staffing, subject matter experts, and onsite and work-at-home operations support. Regardless of the need or situation, Jacobson is the insurance talent solution. Further information is available at www.jacobsononline.com.

About Ward Group®:

Ward Group is the leading provider of benchmarking and best practices studies for insurance companies. The firm analyzes staff levels, compensation, business practices and expenses for all areas of insurance company operations to help companies measure results, optimize performance and improve profitability. For more information about Ward Group, visit www.wardinc.com.


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