Growing Industry Hiring Trend
Despite overall insurance jobs dipping, GEICO, Nationwide and IT are reversing the trend
Growing Industry Hiring Trend - This morning's U.S Unemployment Rate report was good news for most markets, with momentum seen in financial services' and slight increases seen in IT sectors. The report confirms that the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs across all sectors in March, putting the unemployment rate at 8.8%.
Overall, the number of jobs created last month was greater than the forecast of 193,000, and reflects a slight decline over February's rate of 8.9%. Analysts are saying the report reflects a "slight recovery."
The financial activities sector reported a gain of 6,000 jobs in March, nearly double the 3,000 job gain in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' March Employment Situation Report. The Bureau aggregates finance and insurance, commercial banking, security, commodities, funds and real estate in this sector.
Although the insurance sector saw a 1,700 drop in jobs in March, insurers such as GEICO and Nationwide are adding to their worker ranks. Insurers such as GEICO and Nationwide are adding to their worker ranks. To meet growth demands, GEICO plans to add 100 jobs at its Coralville, Iowa office over the next year and is already in the process of hiring 30 sales and customer service department associates. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that those additions will bring the staffing level at its Coralville location to nearly 380.
Nationwide is also expanding. With plans to nearly double its local staff in San Antonio, the insurer is breaking ground there on a new 300,000-square-foot customer sales and service center. Nationwide also has openings in four additional facilities it currently leases in the area, and will be adding new insurance agents in the area along with positions at the new center, officials said. The move could mean close to 900 jobs for the area over a three-year period.
The new San Antonio facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2012. Nationwide plans to make 838 jobs available, most of them call center-based, customer service positions but also some supervisory positions and sales positions. Nationwide already has more than 900 employees currently in San Antonio who will be moving to the new facility, an environmentally sensitive complex that can house up to 2,000 workers. In addition, Nationwide is aiming to expand its presence in Texas, which should include more than 160 new Nationwide agents by 2013.
In the information technology sector, the March 2011 U.S. Department of Labor National Employment Report shows a continuation of sluggish growth. Janco Associates' analysis of the data finds a net gain of only 3,600 seasonally adjusted jobs in March. The data includes all market sectors.
Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said, "While the report that was published paints a much more positive picture, the data for the IT sector shows continued stress in telecommunications with a loss of 43,400 jobs in the past twelve months which is countered with a growth of 57,300 in computer system design and 11,500 jobs in information services."
He added, "The jobs picture has improved, however the impact of the recent disaster in Japan has not been factored in as of yet. As supplies of critical parts manufactured in Japan dwindle there is the potential for a significant adverse impact on the overall economic conditions that drive IT employment."