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Despite Unum's Reputation, Job Applications Double

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Chattenooga, TNDespite its reputation for unfairness to policyholders, Unum has seen an upward trend in the number of job applicants it attracts. Unum Insurance, previously known as Unum Provident and First Unum and now doing business as the Unum Group, received 50,000 applications for employment nationwide in 2008. It's a trend that is expected to continue through 2009 and into this year.

At the time of writing, total applications for the year 2009 had yet to be compiled.

At various times over the course of its history, Unum Group has been accused of bad faith insurance practices that allegedly resulted in the delay or denial of legitimate claims for insurance payouts. Stories abound of claims specialists who are saddled with quotas and a mandate to get claims off the books.

Former employees of the company have described the stress associated with directives to shut down legitimate claims in order to save the company money and increase profits. Unum was famously forced to review thousands of claims it had previously denied.

And yet there is no denying that Unum is the largest successful provider of group and individual disability income protection insurance in the US and the United Kingdom. Despite all the bad press, more than 26,000 people applied to work for Unum nationwide in 2007. The following year, that number had practically doubled to 50,000 and was expected to hold steady in 2009 and 2010.

In Chattanooga, where the company is based, there were 18,000 job applicants in 2008. In recent years the company has improved its online presence and launched a campaign to advertise the virtues of its corporate culture, using images that promote the company as a great place to work.

On an unrelated note, the Unum Group Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.0825 per share on its common stock to be paid on the 19th of next month to stockholders of record as at January 25.

The company will release its Q4 results for 2009 on February 3.

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