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Insurance industry jobs on the rise, some required to return to office

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Between March and May insurance and related jobs rose by 15,000, inching closer to 3 million employed in the industry, and about 150,000 above the pre-pandemic count in January 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Other job gains were reported in professional and business services, government, health care, construction, transportation and warehousing, and social assistance. However, the overall unemployment rate increased by 0.3% to 3.7% in May compared to March 2022. The number of unemployed Americans is up by 440,000 to 6.1 million.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Marketplace reports that the uptick in carriers hiring employees, including adjusters, has to do with bad winter and spring weather from flooding to tornadoes and hail.

“We’re seeing, in response to that, companies are looking to add employees, particularly around their claims staffing,” said Jeff Rieder, with Ward Benchmarking, in Marketplace’s report. “Many companies are experiencing revenue growth that’s supporting their staffing.”

Matthew Palazola, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, told Marketplace demand for insurance products is also up, which calls for more underwriters, brokers, and agents.

Meanwhile, Farmers Group is facing backlash for CEO Raul Vargas’ decision to return at-home workers to the office.

Employees have threatened to quit or unionize on an internal company social media platform, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed screenshots of more than 2,000 employee comments.

A Farmers spokesperson Carly Kraft told Insider a three-day in-office, two-day remote hybrid schedule will begin in September. She said employees were given a three-month notice and 60% of the company’s staff will be affected by the change. An unnamed Farmers spokesperson specified to The Post that only employees within 50 miles of an office would be required to return to the office three days a week.

Vargas took the helm of Farmers Group in January, changing jobs from the president of distribution, life, and financial services in which he oversaw sales and distribution as well as Farmers New World Life and Farmers Financial Solutions. He has been with the company since 2007.

A claims division employee stated, according to The Wall Street Journal, “I sold my house and moved closer to my grandkids. So sad that I made a huge financial decision based on a lie.”

Another said Farmers promised remote work would remain part of the company’s culture.

Meta and Amazon have also reportedly faced employee outcry for return-to-office mandates, according to Insider.


Featured image credit: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock

Employment statistics chart provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics

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