Insurance Industry Growth Leads to Competitive Labor Market

Posted by The Jacobson Group

2019.02LaborStudyBlog-04-1The results from our most recent Semi-Annual U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study are now available! The study, conducted by The Jacobson Group and Aon plc, uncovers revenue and hiring trends within the insurance industry. We are highlighting key data points from the Q3 2019 results, and you can download the full results summary, webinar and slide deck for additional insights and commentary.


The latest survey shows positive staffing expectations with 62 percent of companies planning to increase staff, up one point from January’s iteration of the study. This is largely driven by the life and health verticals: 85 percent of these companies expect to expand their workforces. Fueling this growth is an increase in business volume, which 58 percent of total respondents listed as the primary reason-to-hire in the coming year.

Likewise, revenue growth expectations remain high. Seventy-nine percent of surveyed organizations foresee revenue growth during the next 12 months, the same percentage as our January study. Life and health companies are particularly optimistic, with 92 percent reporting an expected increase, 22 percentage points higher than six months ago.

2019Q3LaborStudyBlog-02Though the industry’s staffing and revenue outlook remains positive, insurers continue to face a challenging labor market compounded by mass retirements and nearly non-existent unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the insurance industry’s unemployment rate landed at 1.6 percent in July, compared to 3.7 percent for the overall labor market. Additionally, the insurance carriers sector has added 116,100 new jobs since its employment low in April 2011.

In fact, eight of 12 industry job categories have seen recruiting difficulty increase during the past year, further illustrating the industry’s war for talent persists. Insurance companies are experiencing the most difficulty in sourcing and attracting qualified technology, actuarial and executive talent. In addition, technology is the area most likely to see growth across the industry in the coming year. 


As demand for insurance talent continues to outpace supply, recruiting difficulty will further intensify and insurers will need to seek out new recruiting and retention strategies. To stay competitive, insurance organizations may consider recruiting for skills rather than specific job experience, adjusting expectations around hiring to consider candidates’ perspectives, and implementing flexible work environments.

In the past year, the industry grew 1.31 percent versus an anticipated rate of 0.60 percent last July. If the industry stays true to its plans for the next 12 months, employment will again increase. To access the latest growth projection, along with additional insights into the industry’s labor outlook for the next year, download the full results of the study.