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November 21, 2011 FINANCIAL SENSE

Job postings suggest finance sector uptick

Connecticut’s financial services sector posted more job openings in the third quarter of 2011 than it did a year earlier, a bump mostly driven by demand from the insurance industry, a new report says.

But while more jobs were available, some Connecticut insurers are having a harder time filling those positions, particularly for actuarial and finance-related work.

Financial companies in the state, including insurers and banks, posted 1,630 job openings during the third quarter of 2011, about a 7 percent increase from the year ago period, according to an occupational outlook report recently published by the Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services (IFS) Cluster, in partnership with SkillPROOF Inc.

The study monitors and reports on the hiring demands of 49 insurance, banking and financial services companies in Connecticut by tracking job postings via their Internet websites.

The insurance sector had the highest gains in job postings, with 801 listings in the third quarter, a 27 percent increase from a year ago. Bank hiring remained flat with 444 postings, compared to 441 a year earlier.

Financial services job openings, however, took a hit during the quarter, declining by about 15 percent. There were 385 financial service positions available in the third quarter, compared to 451 a year earlier.

The drop in demand for the financial services sector was the largest drop reported for the year.

“It’s a bit of uncertainty and optimism,” said Susan Winkler, the executive director of the Connecticut IFS Cluster. “That is the fluctuation of the market.”

Winkler said the fact that some financial services sectors are hiring more and others less is a sign of uncertainty within the state, national, and global economy. On the bright side, Winkler said she has heard of few, if any, companies that plan to decrease their workforce in the near term.

Most companies are predicting flat or slightly elevated hiring for 2012, Winkler said.

“If the market conditions don’t decline, then we will stay in the status quo or see a slight uptick,” Winkler said.

Some jobs appear to be in more demand than others.

Among the top occupations tracked by SkillPROOF, the demand for bankers and sales/account managers experienced the biggest year-over-year gain. There were 44 job openings for bankers in the quarter, compared to 23 a year earlier, and 33 job openings for sales/account managers compared to 19 in the third quarter of 2010.

Employment in the state’s financial sector has been a mixed bag in 2011. The financial services sector added 500 jobs in October, but the industry has still lost 1,500 jobs for the year.



Greg Bordonaro writes the Financial Sense column every other week. Reach him at


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