While overall employment rose by the highest level since last fall, mortgage sector jobs continued to descend.
The number of jobs in the industry during January slipped for the second consecutive month to 489,400 -- 800 less than December, according to the latest employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure, however, is about 41,000 jobs better than a year ago.
The bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, reports employment numbers about 30 days following the end of each month.
January's mortgage employment reportedly consisted of 366,300 people working in real estate credit and 123,100 mortgage and nonmortgage brokers.
National employment increased by 262,000 in February, which, according to MarketWatch, is the highest jump since October and exceeded the predictions of its economists.
In February, the unemployment rate edged up to 5.4%, or 8.0 million people, the bureau reported.