The Financial Planning Association (FPA) says many planning firms think they’ll be hiring, and two large carriers have announced major agent recruitment drive.

The FPA, Denver, surveyed about 1,000 planners and found that 42% expect to hire additional staff in the next 12 months and only 5% plan to eliminate positions.

During the past 12 months, planning firms filled about as many positions as they eliminated.

In related news, New York Life Insurance Company, New York, and American General Life and Accident Insurance Company, a unit of American International Group Inc., New York (AIG), have kicked off big hiring efforts.

New York Life says it now has 11,500 in its field force and hopes to hire 3,000 agents to keep up with a big increase in demand for individual life insurance and financial advice.

American General Life says it wants to add 4,000 full-time and affiliated independent agents and is sending an AGLA Hiring Drive Tour Bus to 15 cities to get applications from job seekers.

Successful candidates will go through an initial paid training period, then get commission-based compensation, American General says.

American General has had good results in recent years from selling a product that provides accelerated benefits for insureds who suffer from a critical illness, the company says.

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