Looking for a Finance Post with a Raise in Sight? Try Insurance

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Wall Street may be cutting staff levels to the bone, but insurance firms have been hiring, and most companies say they will increase staffing over the coming year.

Insurance industry hiring appears to be steady with 54.5 percent of companies saying they intend to increase staff and 77.4 percent expecting to grow revenue, says an Insurance Journal report this week.

“If the industry follows through on its plans, there will be a 1 percent increase in industry employment during the next 12 months," according to the Mid-Year Insurance Labor Market Study conducted by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group. Jacobson is an insurance employment and recruitment firm, and Ward Group is a provider of benchmarking and best practices research studies for insurers.

Majority of Insurers Plan to Hire

The majority of those surveyed intend to increase staff, and the 54.5 percent that made this prediction reflects a 3.3-point improvement since the last poll was taken in January.

“Participants of the study are reporting moderate but sustainable growth,” said Gregory P. Jacobson, chief executive officer of Jacobson. “The optimism that has been apparent in previous iterations of the study has materialized into greater revenue and hiring.”

An Increase in Business

The primary reason to increase staff during the next 12 months continues to be an increase in business volume.

As we reported just a few days ago, key insurance companies have largely had a strong first half, and while banks focus on cost-cutting, insurers are still open to increasing headcount.

Salaries Increase for Many Roles

The most sought-after roles include actuaries, business analysts, compliance managers, accountants and risk managers. According to the new labor market study, technology, underwriting and claims roles are expected to grow the greatest during the next 12 months.

Also, while the Mid-Year Insurance Labor Market Study results were released privately, one Insurance Journal reader commented that “in addition to the above, approximately 12 percent of companies responded that they will be offering raises, with virtually all of those raises going to hire the optimal candidates."

Faced with a shortage of risk experts at insurance companies, one Standard Life executive in the UK said their salaries have increased by 50 percent to 100 percent over the last three years.

Jacobson said that optimism to grow revenue is at the highest level it is has been since the semi-annual survey began in 2009.

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