Employment for insurance agents/brokers was on the rise for the month of February, according to the latest US Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While the sector displayed marginal improvement compared to the previous year, the employment gains were not without difficulty.
According to the report, the agent/broker segment gained 19,800 jobs in February 2016, up to 771,500; this figure is a 2.6% improvement from the same period last year.
As impressive as a nearly-20,000 gain is, the agent/broker segment saw mixed results in the months leading to February 2016. For both October and November 2015, the segment added 13,700—its largest two-month gain in the last 25 years. However, the segment lost a total of 7,800 in December and January.
Other subsectors posted generally positive results. In the 12 months ending in February 2016, P/C carrier employment increased by 800 to 517,000 (+0.2% from the same period last year). Life/annuity carriers enjoyed a 9,700 employment climb to 330,800 (+3.0%) for the same period. Health carrier employment saw a sharp rise 23,300 to 539,700 (+4.5%) thanks to the flood of ACA-related applications, claims, and purchases.
Gains were also largely observed among the smaller industry segments. In the 12 months leading to February, reinsurance carrier employment rose by 900 to 23,500 (+2.6% from the same period the previous year). Independent claims-adjusting employment climbed by 400 to 55,300 (+0.7%) for the same period. Employment in the category of third-party administration of insurance funds posted an addition of 2,000 to 175,300, although this was 0.3% lower compared to the previous year’s figure.