November 29, 2018

Report: CT's insurance employment rising

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
The Hartford's headquarters.

Connecticut's insurance carriers, agencies and brokers have more employees now than they've had since around 2012, according to a new report from an insurance industry group.

Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services (CT IFS), a statewide initiative of the MetroHartford Alliance that counts 32 companies as members, and co-author PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in their latest annual "Insurance Market Brief" on Thursday that there were 60,233 insurance employees in the state as of a June 2018 analysis of proprietary Moody's data by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC).

Previous IFS reports show the last time the count was that high was in 2012, at 60,429. The state's total insurance employment dipped as low as 57,734 since that time, in 2015.

While new technologies may enable insurers to employ fewer people in some instances, CERC said the continued expansion of the insurance market, especially internationally, could be increasing demand for insurance services, helping to explain the uptick. In addition, while technology might affect customer-facing agents and staff, the higher level insurance management for which Connecticut is known may be unaffected, CERC added.

Keith Hubert, PwC's Hartford managing partner, said Thursday that it's tough to pinpoint exactly where the job gains have come.

"I think it shows the insurance industry in the state is doing better," Hubert said. "It has come out of the downturn of 2008 and the companies are doing really well."

CT IFS has been issuing the reports since 2011. It times the release of the reports with its annual Insurance Market Summit, the latest of which is scheduled for Thursday at the Marriott Hartford Downtown. Organizers expect 375 people to attend the sold-out event.

Connecticut's insurance industry continues to play an outsized role in the state's economy, according to the CT IFS report, producing 5.3 percent of Gross State Product while employing just 2.7 percent of the state's total workers.

The industry used to produce a higher portion of the state's GSP. For example, in CT IFS' 2011 market brief, the industry's GSP contribution was pegged at 8.9 percent.

Connecticut has the highest concentration of actuaries of any state and the highest payroll as a percent of total payroll, according to the report, which said the average annual wage in the industry stands at $90,294, up from $83,936 in 2016.

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