Greater Lansing’s Insurance Industry Continues to Grow

If you ask a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the answers are varied — firefighter, president, princess, doctor, movie star, pro athlete.

They don’t say, “I want to work in insurance.” But maybe they should.

Lansing’s insurance industry has done nothing but grow since the turn of the century. Between 2000 and 2015, the Lansing “insurance carriers and related activities” industry has grown by 27.8 percent, which compares favorably to private jobs overall in Lansing, which has contracted by 5.2 percent.

In a report released earlier this year by the Anderson Economic Group, we learned that Lansing’s insurance industry makes up almost 20 percent of Michigan’s insurance workers, with nearly 7,300 employees.

Greater Lansing is fortunate to boast six major insurance companies as employers: AF Group, Auto-Owners Insurance, Delta Dental of Michigan, Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, Jackson National Life Insurance Company and Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company. That easily makes the insurance industry one of our region’s largest employers.

As these businesses continue to grow and we march toward the 10,000 worker benchmark, greater Lansing is poised to qualify as a legitimate insurance hub, making it easier to attract more businesses to serve those employees and continue to grow our economy.

According to Anderson Reports LLC, the average salary in the insurance industry is $85,000, compared with $59,000 for other industries in Michigan.

So young people, want to work in insurance now?

The U.S. insurance industry plays a vital role in our economy. It employed 2.5 million people in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.5 million worked directly for insurance companies. According to the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, the insurance industry will create more than 400,000 job opportunities by 2020. Many of those will be here in greater Lansing.

The Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives says that between 2012 and 2022, Lansing’s “insurance carriers and related activities” industry is projected to grow by 13.9 percent, adding 1,150 jobs. This growth rate is nearly double the all-industry job growth rate of 7.3 percent.

Think about it. Insurance touches all of our lives. From health and home to car and pet, we insure so many things that are important to us, it only makes sense the industry continues to grow.

And training will be essential for these jobs; in a Griffith recent survey, 75 percent of companies said they use internships to recruit entry-level talent.

A great number of jobs in the insurance industry lean on STEAM skills, and AF Group’s partnership with Capital Area Michigan Works! and the Capital Area IT Council aims to create a talent pipeline in mid-Michigan to help fill those jobs.

AF Group leadership assists both workforce partners and the community with talent development efforts. AF Group has used the CAMW! Business Services Team to assist in hiring dozens of employees in many departments and has participated in programs like Capital Area Tech Knowledge E-Pathways to help unemployed and underemployed people plug into and advance along career paths in IT.

It benefits us as a region to train and prepare our residents for this growing industry. It’s helping our friends and neighbors connect with jobs in a secure industry; by preparing these folks for insurance careers, we’re helping businesses who are already investing in our community to connect with the workforce they need to grow. It cuts down on the amount of time and money they have to spend recruiting and it demonstrates the value of investing in greater Lansing.

I can’t think of a better partnership.

So as you talk with young people about jobs and careers, don’t forget to talk about the insurance industry.


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