Those looking for jobs within the insurance industry should focus on employment opportunities within technology, underwriting and claims departments, according to the latest survey conducted by Jacobson Group and Ward Group.

The Insurance Labor Market survey, conducted in the third quarter of 2014, investigates hiring trends within the insurance industry.

The survey found that:

• 58 percent of companies plan to increase staff during the next 12 months. Although this is nearly 4 points lower than the January survey, it is the second highest percentage since the survey began in 2009.

• The primary reason to increase staff during the next 12 months is the expectation of an increase in business volume. 67 percent of companies listed this reason to hire compared to 43 percent who reported expansion into new markets.

• 8.6 percent of companies expect a decrease in staffing during the next 12 months. This is up 4.6 points from the January study.

• 16 percent of companies reported that automation and reorganization are the primary reasons for reductions in staff during the next 12 months.

• 67 percent of small companies plan to add staff during the next 12 months. This is 17 and 19 points higher than mid-sized and large companies, respectively.

Technology, underwriting, and claims roles are expected to grow the greatest during the next 12 months, which is consistent with the January survey.

With the second highest percentage of surveyed companies indicating an increase in hiring and low unemployment in the insurance industry, the difficulty in recruiting will only continue to intensify, the survey report noted.

Technology, actuarial, and analytics positions are difficult to fill, as are executive positions.

The survey noted that insurers are requiring fewer temporary staff during the second half of the year. Fifteen percent of companies are planning to decrease their use of temps versus 13 percent reporting the same 6 months ago.

Source: Jacobson Group/Ward Group