The approaching war with Iraq at least is good for one thing -- low mortgage rates. That in turn means more mortgage jobs -- 8,000 more from January to February -- while jobs in general are getting cut.
About 421,000 people held mortgage broker and banker positions during the month of February, according to the seasonally adjusted report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is released monthly.
That's a boost from 414,000 the previous month, and an 18% increase from the same time last year.
General unemployment went back up to 5.8% in February from 5.7% in January, according to the labor statistics. About 308,000 non-farm jobs were cut last month as well.
The employment figures reported are based on preliminary estimates, which the bureau doesn't consider complete until two successive revisions. The bureau doesn't report the final figures until later in the month.