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Lenders Cut Jobs

245,300 people working in mortgage jobs during November

Jan. 7, 2011

By staff

October's job expansion in real estate finance was short-lived.

In November, 245,300 people worked in mortgage lending, based on data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Headcount in the sector was higher at a revised 246,600 the month before -- when the government reported that employment had risen by 1,100. In November 2009, the bureau reports that a revised 255,400 employees worked in mortgage lending.

The number of "mortgage and non-mortgage loan brokers" stayed the same as October: 59,500.

But employees classified as working in "real estate credit" fell to 185,800 in November from the previous month's 187,100, according to the bureau, a division of the Labor Department.

Ocwen Financial Corp.'s decision to close locations of its subsidiary HomEq Servicing resulted in more than 900 California layoffs and 242 North Carolina employees.

Also impacting November's numbers were layoffs from the closing of Wells Fargo Financial's subprime mortgage portfolio unit.

But the situation improved beyond the mortgage sector.

U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in December from the previous month's 9.8 percent.

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