The government's latest employment report showed that more than 5,000 jobs were cut from the mortgage industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the non-seasonally adjusted number of people employed in mortgage-related jobs totaled 438,900 in December, while the previous month the revised number stood at 444,700. A year ago, the total was 410,000.
The Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, reports the numbers about 30 days following the end of each month.
The total was comprised of 121,600 loan brokers, both mortgage and nonmortgage, and 317,300 people working in Real Estate Credit, the report said.
The decline in mortgage employment numbers follows recent reports of layoffs from Washington Mutual and Fairbanks Capital Corp. Due to slowed business, National City Mortgage also recently cut about 250 temporary jobs after eliminating 2,500 jobs in the fourth quarter, according to an online Dayton Business Journal report.
The unemployment rate continued to descend -- in January it was 5.6%, or 8.3 million people, down from the prior month's 5.7%.