IT Job Growth Limited to Processing, Boston and Palo Alto
The number of IT jobs in the finance and insurance industry has dropped 0.34 percent, according to a new study
by Juilett Fairley
There were 5,736,000 IT jobs in April 2011 compared to 5,755,000 in April 2012, indicating a loss of 19,000 jobs in just one year, according to Janco Associate's continuing analysis of hiring trends.
The national mandate for the use of medical records is one area of hope among health insurance IT workers. The transition to new, more secure claims transmission standards are all elements of the national digital records mandate to migrate health care providers to new technology.
“Much of the job activity in the IT area is associated with electronic medical records. The mandate helps the job market but if you remove the mandate, there'd be even less jobs because everything else is very stagnant,” said Janulaitis.
One scenario that could reverse the dwindling IT job market among insurers is if Congress passes a law allowing health insurers to write policies across state lines, according to Janulaitis. The move could create more competition among providers and create IT jobs.
“There's a host of requirements that would need to be met, such as in state reporting and intra state reporting, which requires a lot of processing. Processing presents opportunity for IT workers,” said Janulaitis.
Areas of IT job growth are in the Northeast and parts of the West Coast, specifically Boston and Palo Alto. The news isn't so good in Los Angeles, where the unemployment rate is edging in at 11 percent, said Janulaitis.
Another area of potential job growth is in property/casualty insurance.
“There are jobs in the claims processing area. Processes make it easier for claims adjustors to process claims. It‘s not unusual for insurers to photograph storm damage and use it for documentation to complete a claim,” said Janulaitis. “They have to be able to capture all the business records and be able to retrieve them, which is where IT workers come into the picture. ”
Janco reports that 1,200 IT jobs in a variety of industries were lost in March. And, while short-term hiring for IT staff and consultants is up, long-term job prospects may not pick up until early 2013.
Finance and insurance IT job loss in March was very low, but the industry experienced a loss of 13,400 jobs in every area. “Insurers on the West Coast are keeping headcounts low, and many are preparing a set of layoffs in the next month,” Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said.
“The IT job markets in Chicago and Boston are doing reasonably well and Dallas is picking up, but overall it’s not where it used to be four years ago,” Janulaitis said.
Economic recovery in the United States is not strong enough to drive companies to increase IT headcounts, according to Janco. Its analysis points to ways insurers are counteracting employment costs. In an effort to minimize capital expenditures and improve ROI, insurers are jumping on the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, allowing employees to use their own personal devices on the job.
“Insurers don’t have to spend money on a laptop if employees are using their own devices,” says Janulaitis. “It’s helping companies cope with the economy. "