About 1,400 fewer people worked in mortgage-related positions at the end of December than at the beginning.
Yearend mortgage jobs totaled 500,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics today. While December was just a smudge worse than November, the decline marks the second consecutive monthly contraction in a sector that may see many more.
The latest figures, reported on a one-month lag, were 6% better than figures reported a year prior.
People working in "real estate credit" represented 356,500 of December's total, according to the government, while "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" accounted for 144,400.
The bureau, a division of the Department of Labor, said unemployment fell to 4.7% in January, down from a revised 4.9% the prior month.