In line with disappointing overall employment numbers, mortgage sector jobs trimmed down in December.
Mortgage jobs totaled 486,400 in December, about 200 fewer employees than the prior month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The figure, however, is better than the 454,200 reported for December of the prior year.
The Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, reports mortgage employment about 30 days following the end of each month.
December mortgage employment consisted of 360,700 people working in Real Estate Credit and 125,700 mortgage and nonmortgage brokers.
Overall nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 146,000 last month to a seasonally adjusted record of 132.6 million. However, economists were expecting growth of about 189,000, according to MarketWatch. Additionally, December payrolls were revised to 133,000 from 157,000.
The weaker-than-expected employment report pushed the benchmark 10-year Treasury-note yield down 10 BPS early morning Friday -- its lowest since the middle of December, MarketWatch reported.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's chief economist, Doug Duncan, recently gave his economic outlook and said he expects job gains in 2005 will average 200,000 per month, yet based on historical evidence within the mortgage market, the anticipated rising-rate environment could result in 80,000 mortgage layoffs within the next couple of years.
The unemployment rate decreased to 5.2% in January from 5.4% the previous month, according to the Bureau.