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CUNA Study: Credit Union Employment Is Booming

CUNA Study: Credit Union Employment Is Booming By Gina Ragusa
Published April 5, 2013
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Job seekers should consider applying at a credit union as the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that industry employment numbers are on the rise.

Referencing data from the National Credit Union Administration's 2012 year-end call report, CUNA found that the total number of credit union employees increased by 2.8% in 2012. This hike is considered to be the most significant industry-wide increase since 2007.

Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel said in a release that the increase, "means that credit union leadership is more positive about the future of the economy and their credit unions."

The industry saw a greater growth amongst full-time new hires, rising 3.1%. Part-time employee numbers increased by 1.3%.

Hampel adds that credit unions were frugal during tough times and that "credit unions were doing everything they could to protect their capital and their bottom line, including postponing hiring and cutting back discretionary expenses as much as they could."

Certain regions are weighing in on overall job growth. For example, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) report a 4% full-time employment increase at Alabama credit unions and a 2.5% hike at Florida credit unions.

Lending and Service Areas Are Growing

Individually, Wright-Patt Credit Union ($2.5 billion, Fairborn, OH) added 50 jobs in 2012 and that 68 more employees will join the credit union this year.

President and Chief Executive Officer Doug Fecher told the Journal News that the majority of the increase was dedicated to support the new video teller technology. Although members interact with a machine, they are talking to a live person who is located at credit union headquarters.

Additionally with mortgage activity picking up, Fecher also added more positions to the credit union’s in-house mortgage company.

Like Wright Patt, FivePoint Credit Union ($429 million, Nederland, TX) is also growing, specifically in the lending area. “We are really focused on consumer lending and commercial lending,” says Vicki Kelley, senior vice president of human resources. “FivePoint does a tremendous job in these areas. However, our frontline (tellers and member service) continues to be a vital part of operations.”

Kelley explains that the economy in Southeast Texas did not take as significant a hit as other parts of the country. “FivePoint Credit Union was fortunate to have continued to thrive during this period. While we are limiting the number of new positions we are adding, we are not eliminating positions either. In fact, we recently held a job fair where we hired 23 new employees.”

Family Environment Workplace

Kelley says that working at a credit union is like working with family. “We are member-oriented and here to help those we serve and those we work with,” she says. “We offer competitive pay, excellent benefits, and give back to the communities we serve. Whether it is working on a Habitat for Humanity house, fundraising for Relay for Life or collecting items for an employee that lost everything in a fire, our credit union family pulls together for each other and our community. The credit union motto is People Helping People, and that's exactly what we do.”

A number of other employees and executives report how working at a credit union has been a fulfilling experience as well. For example, Meritrust Credit Union’s ($850 million, Wichita, KS) new CEO, James Nastars told The Wichita Eagle that employees have been, “a very creative group” and “are very welcoming.”

Nastars says that he works in the industry because; unlike banks credit unions are member-focused. At typical board meetings, “The discussions tend to be, ‘How can we take care of our membership,’ ” he said. “I can already tell the approach (at Meritrust) is the same.”

Interested in a career move or looking for a job? Find a credit union near you and inquire about job openings today.

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