Unum Group Corp. has reported an astonishing discovery: Some employers might be expanding.
Unum, Chattanooga, Tenn. (NYSE:UNM), is reporting $214 million in net income for the first quarter on $2.6 billion in revenue, compared with $224 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2011.
Since the economy began crumbling in a visible way in 2008, Unum has been noting in its quarterly financial statements the same sad finding that other employee benefits sellers have been noting.
The employers it was serving were shrinking.
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Some employers were laying off workers. Some employers were restricting access to benefits such as group disability insurance.
But, even when the employers continued to exist and kept at least part of their benefits programs in place, the number of employees was per case was dropping.
Recently, however, ”the company has seen some moderation of the intense price competition in certain market sectors…as well as a slight increase in premium resulting from higher employment and wage increases in our in-force cases,” the company says in a discussion of its latest results.
In part because of that modest growth, overall U.S. group disability premium revenue rose 1%, to $513 million.
Group short-term disability (STD) sales fell 4.3%, to about $13 million, but group long-term disability (LTD) sales increased 21%, to $36 million.
Individual disability sales increased 4.9%, to $15 million, and sales of voluntary benefits products of all kinds rose 16%, to $95 million.