All we seem to hear about these days is the threat of a recession. Yet the number of job openings at the end of July according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was virtually the same as the end of May at 11.2 million openings. This is roughly two jobs for every unemployed worker! Other numbers reported by BLS sound even better. Over 6 million people were hired at the end of July and 4.2 million chose to quit their job while layoffs and discharges were only 1.4 million. The end of July marked the thirteenth straight month of more than eleven million job openings and fourteen straight months of more than four million people voluntarily leaving their jobs. As an actuary do you need to prepare yourself for an actuarial recession job hunt?
There are many theories on the impact a recession would have on this incredibly strong job market. Recent hires could be the first to be fired if a company undergoes layoffs. Others say the market will probably be slower to respond to a recession just given the sheer demand for labor. COVID and the shortage of workers has kept employers from being able to staff up quickly leaving pent-up demand. You certainly can’t lay off what you don’t have. It is possible workers could lose some negotiating power, but that doesn’t mean layoffs are coming in mass.
Negotiating salary has been a top reason for job changes. ADP reported that first quarter 2022 job switchers saw their pay grow by 8.7% year-over-year while wages for job-holders went up by 6%. In a study by JobVite they found that 45% of workers would accept a lower salary if it meant they could continue to work remotely, while 65% said remote work was a key factor in their decision to accept or reject a job offer. Preferences on work site remain a hot topic and preference.
Actuarial Recruiter Rory Hauser commenting on the actuarial job market and the possible need for an actuarial recession job hunt, “We have seen some companies start to scale back or slow down their expansion plans. They seem to be equally concerned about a recession and are reacting to the possibility by hiring more selectively.” CareerSherpa.net ranked Actuary in their top ten recession proof jobs. Because actuaries analyze risk “they guide organizations in the right direction and can play a significant role in helping them come out of recessions without too much harm.”
CareerSherpa.net also put the Insurance industry in its top ten recession proof jobs. They did say insurance providers do experience hits during a recession as some people put paying/keeping their insurance at the bottom of their priority list, but most recognize the necessity of keeping current on their policies.