|The mortgage industry saw a net job loss in November, though the tide may have turned.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that 337,600 people were employed in mortgage lending during November 2008. Jobs in the sector were lower than a revised 341,900 in October and 374,600 in November 2007.
"Real estate credit" employees numbered 228,400 in November, down from 231,700 the prior month. A year earlier, the total was 256,500.
Employment for "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" fell to 109,200 from 110,200 in October and 118,100 in November 2007.
The net outflow of positions in real estate finance during the latest month was impacted by layoffs at the following companies:
November 2008 Mortgage Layoffs
But declining rates have pushed up refinance demand -- leading many mortgage firms to begin recruiting new employees last month. December mortgage employment data will be announced in early February.
Overall U.S. employment declined by 524,000 in December from the prior month, while unemployment increased to 7.2 percent from 6.8 percent in November, the report said.
"Lob losses were large and widespread across most major industry sectors," the bureau -- a division of the U.S. Department of Labor -- said in the report.