Reflecting a contraction in real estate finance, monthly mortgage employment numbers sank. The reduction was fueled by a decline in the number of brokers.
There were 489,200 people employed in mortgage lending during January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The latest numbers reflect a loss of nearly 6,000 jobs from the prior month and a loss of nearly 9,000 positions from a year earlier.
"Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" accounted for 140,100 of January's figure, declining from 144,300 during December, according to the data. People employed in "real estate credit" totaled 349,100, off just slightly from the prior month.
Among the mortgage-related companies that cut jobs or announced layoffs during January were New Century Financial Corp. subsidiary Home 123 Corp., which told MortgageDaily.com it closed 24 consumer direct offices and laid off 200 people; E-LOAN parent Popular Financial Holdings, which announced a restructuring would cost 627 employees their jobs; and Residential Capital LLC, which said it would cut 1,000 as a result of continued deterioration in the subprime sector.
Unemployment was unchanged at 4.5 percent during February, according to the bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.