Mortgage employment has begun to reflect the consolidation in the industry.
Defying three consecutive monthly increases, the number of mortgage jobs decreased to 504,100 in November from 507,000 in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In the same month a year prior, real estate finance jobs amounted to 502,300.
November's mortgage workforce consisted of 361,000 real estate credit employees and the rest were mortgage and nonmortgage brokers, according to the Bureau's data.
Among the contributors to slowed mortgage employment were job cuts at Saxon Capital Inc. and Wachovia Corp. and the closure of Ownit Mortgage Solutions and Sebring Capital Partners.
And the sector has yet to reflect layoffs at Sovereign Bancorp, which exited the wholesale lending market, Washington Mutual, ABN AMRO and National City.
Nonfarm employment increased by 167,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.5 percent, the division of the U.S. Department of Labor said.