Industry recruitment keeping up–for now: demographic study

Insurance industry workforce getting younger, but biggest wave of retirements has yet to hit

The Insurance Institute of Canada released its latest demographic study of the insurance industry workforce this week and the findings are encouraging.

The study, “A Demographic Analysis of the P&C Insurance Industry in Canada 2012–2022,” finds evidence that employers throughout the Canadian P&C industry have taken major steps to address demographic imbalances since the Institute last conducted the research in 2009.

The study reveals that substantial recruitment activity has taken place, notwithstanding the economic upheaval of the last four years. And so far, the number of new recruits has compensated for the number of older workers that are retiring. However the study also shows that the impact of retirement will increase substantially in the next few years. Therefore employers will have to respond with even more aggressive recruitment efforts.

The research was conducted by R.A.L. Consulting Ltd. Richard Loreto, president of R.A.L., first previewed the findings at the Top Broker Summit last November. See also the article in the November 2012 issue of Canadian Insurance Top Broker.

The study found that the insurance industry workforce is getting younger, and thus more in line with the overall Canadian labour force. Among the findings: the share of the echo cohort (ages 17 to 32 in 2012) has more than doubled (from 12% in 2007 to 27% in 2012) at the expense of the share of the boomer cohort (ages 46 to 65 in 2012; 49% to 37%).

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The increase in the echo cohort is across every province, every region, every company type and size, as well as every occupational category (except management). “The rise in the share of the echo cohort is an indicator of substantial recruitment activity,” says Loreto. “The data from 20 companies who participated in both the 2007 and 2012 census clearly indicate that they have grown their collective workforce. Full-time employees working in the targeted occupations for these companies have increased by 40%.”

But the industry still has work to do. “In ten years, the boomer cohort will all be older than 55 and therefore, the impact of retirement should increase substantially. Going forward it will be imperative to recruit (and retain) at a level that mitigates the potentially adverse impacts of demographic trends, in terms of both supply and demand pressures.”

Copies of the report are available from the Insurance Institute and a series of seminars are being presented in 10 cities across the country. To download an executive summary of the research or register for a seminar, visit:


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