The mortgage industry continues to provide an increasing number of jobs in a time when general unemployment is high.
About 407,000 people held the title of mortgage broker or banker during the month of December, according to the seasonally adjusted monthly report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That represents an almost 1.8% increase from November's figure of about 400,000, and an almost 16% increase from December 2001's figure of about 352,000. October's final estimate came in at 396,000 mortgage broker and banker jobs.
The bureau also reported December's general unemployment rate at 6.0%, tied with November and April for the highest rate of 2002.
The employment figures reported are based on preliminary estimates, which the bureau doesn't consider complete until two successive revisions. The bureau doesn't report the final figures until later in the month.