FIRE stands for Finance Insurance and Real Estate in finance and
banking. FIRE economy is a sector that includes banks and credit unions, real
estate agencies, mortgage brokers, investment brokerages, credit card
companies, hedge funds, etc. The FIRE economy has developed to become a
significant contribution to the entire economy of the United Estates.
About the FIRE industry
The FIRE industry is very closely tied with all industries.
As such, industry activity will typically tend to follow the business cycle as
spending a big-ticket items such as automobiles and property trends to increase
when the economy is strong and decrease during recessionary periods. The FIRE
industry has grown throughout the pandemic as, according to statistics Canada,
FIRE’s GDP increased by 3.6% from 2020 to 2021.
Within FIRE, finance is the largest sub-industry and consists of banking and
leading activities. Insurance employs the second largest amount of people in the
industry. The sub-industry contains insurance careers, agencies and brokerages;
and other insurance-related activities. The real estate sub-industry employs real
estate agents, landlords, property managers, etc,; and the rental and leasing sub-
industry is comprised of auto rental and leasing, consumer goods rental, and
industrial equipment rental and leasing.
Employment in the FIRE industry has generally been steady in the
past year with employment being slightly above its pre-pandemic level and that of
all industries. This is expected as many services in the industry were already being
delivered remotely, meaning the industry was able to mitigate the negative
employment effects of COVID restrictions by more easily adapting to telework.
Also, there were no significant layoffs during the peak of the pandemic which
made it easier for the industry to continue growing.
Climate change and the subsequent rise of natural disaster policies have led to
growth in the insurance industry. Specifically, in insurance sub-industry has grown
in the last few years as a result of an uptick in fire and flood policies. Also the
increased reliance on the internet and technology has led to increased usage of
cybersecurity policies. Thus, newer insurance products along with population
growth have led to steady gains in the insurance sub-industry.