We made it! We survived the economic instability of the past few years and have more than rebounded. The insurance industry is well ahead of the greater economy; and the picture painted by our labor market is much different than that of one year ago. In fact, the insurance industry is boasting virtually no unemployment with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the insurance carrier unemployment rate decreased to 2.5 percent in August.

Even when industry unemployment was high, we were still experiencing difficulty recruiting talented employees. As optimism continues to grow and is reflected in hiring plans (according to The Jacobson Group and Ward Group’s Mid-Year Labor Outlook Study, 54.4 percent of industry organizations plan to increase staff in the next 12 months), the demand for talent will undoubtedly outstrip the supply. With only 26.6 percent of the industry’s workers under the age of 35 and the disappearance of training programs during the recession, it isn’t a matter of if, but when.

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