January 2022: Labor Market Pulse

Posted by The Jacobson Group


While industry unemployment rose slightly at the end of 2021, the insurance carriers and related activities sector experienced six consecutive months of gradual job growth and reached a record high for annual average employment. Recent growth appears to be primarily driven by title, claims and agent/broker roles.

The BLS also reported 407,000 job openings within the larger finance and insurance industry for November*. This is the industry’s highest level of open jobs in the report’s 20-year history, with the most recent decade reflected in the graph below.

While we’re seeing a steady increase in employment and a high number of open roles, the level of quits within finance and insurance is also at a 10-year high. The Great Reshuffle persists, making it essential for insurers to continue evaluating their approach to recruitment, retention and engagement in 2022.


Pulse-Icons-25Unemployment for the insurance carriers and related activities sector increased to 1.9% in December. 
Pulse-Icons-07The insurance carriers and related activities sector gained 3,100 jobs in December.
Pulse-Icons-20At roughly 2.9 million jobs, industry employment decreased by approximately 800 jobs compared to December 2020.
Pulse-Icons-28The U.S. unemployment rate decreased to 3.9% in December and the overall economy added 199,000 jobs.



  • On a year-to-year basis, November** insurance industry employment saw job increases in title (up 8.6%),  agents/brokers (up 1.5%) and claims (up 1%). Meanwhile, job decreases were seen for reinsurance (down 4.1%), property and casualty (down 2.8%), TPAs (down 1%) and life/health (down 0.5%). 
  • On a year-to-year basis, November** saw weekly wage increases in TPAs (up 6.1%), claims (up 3%), life/health (up 2.9%), agents/brokers (up 1.1%) and reinsurance (up 0.5%). Meanwhile, wage decreases were seen for title (down 4.1%) and property and casualty (down 0.7%).

 new pulse graph   0122-01

BLS Reported Adjustments: Adjusted employment numbers for November show the industry saw an increase of 2,800 jobs, compared to the previously reported increase of 2,500 jobs. The BLS continues to revise numbers to be most accurate, which may contribute to inconsistencies, depending on when reports were pulled.

*November is the most recently available JOLTS information from the BLS.

**The BLS reports on wages and employment for the industry category are only available for two months prior.

The source for the data represented in PULSE is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Insurance data is derived from the insurance carriers and related activities sector.