A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy

Careers and employment

The insurance industry is a major U.S. employer, providing some 2.9 million jobs that encompass a wide variety of careers, from human resource administrators to public relations managers to financial analysts. Some jobs, such as claims adjusters, actuaries and insurance underwriters, are unique to the insurance industry. For information about the many career opportunities in the insurance industry consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Career Guide to Industries or insuremypath.org.

Employment In Insurance, 2011-2020

(Annual averages, 000)

  Insurance carriers Insurance agencies, brokerages and related services  
  Direct insurers (1)            
Year Life and
health (2)
Property/
casualty
Reinsurers Total Insurance
agencies
and brokers
Other
insurance-
related
activities (3)
Total Total
industry
2011 788.9 611.6 25.6 1,426.1 649.2 261.1 910.3 2,336.4
2012 811.3 599.5 25.7 1,436.4 659.6 272.3 931.8 2,368.3
2013 813.2 593.7 26.2 1,433.1 672.3 283.5 955.8 2,388.9
2014 829.0 594.7 25.1 1,448.7 720.0 297.1 1,017.1 2,465.8
2015 829.8 611.6 25.1 1,466.5 762.8 309.1 1,071.8 2,538.3
2016 818.9 643.5 25.3 1,487.7 783.5 321.5 1,105.0 2,592.7
2017 850.4 639.7 26.6 1,516.7 809.6 333.3 1,142.9 2,659.6
2018 882.8 629.5 28.6 1,540.9 825.6 346.2 1,171.8 2,712.7
2019 931.2 650.3 28.6 1,610.1 842.8 349.5 1,192.2 2,802.3
2020 962.5 665.9 27.3 1,655.7 853.4 349.0 1,202.4 2,858.1

(1) Establishments primarily engaged in initially underwriting insurance policies.
(2) Includes establishments engaged in underwriting annuities, life insurance and health and medical insurance policies.
(3) Includes claims adjusters, third-party administrators of insurance funds and other service personnel such as advisory and insurance ratemaking services.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Insurance compared with other industries

The insurance industry employed 2.8 million people in 2019, accounting for about 26 percent of the workforce in the U.S. financial activities sector, according to the Current Population Survey from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Employment By Industry, 2019

 

Industry Employees (000)
Total, all industries 157,538
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 2,425
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 750
Construction 11,373
Manufacturing  15,741
Wholesale and retail trade 19,742
Transportation and utilities 8,991
Information 2,766
Financial activities 10,765
     Insurance carriers and related activities 2,833
Professional and business services 19,606
Education and health services 35,894
Leisure and hospitality 14,643
Other services 7,617
Public administration 7,225

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey (CPS).

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