|As U.S. jobs continued to tumble, mortgage employment held steady.
U.S. nonfarm employment decreased 663,000 in March, data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated. Total job losses since the recession began in December 2007 total 5.1 million -- with 3.3 million job losses just since November.
The number of unemployed people currently sits at 13.2 million, bringing U.S. unemployment to 8.5 percent.
But mortgage sector jobs, reported on a one-month lag, are holding up.
The bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, reported 271,100 people employed in real estate finance in February -- nudging down from a revised 271,300 in January. During February 2008, job count in the sector was a revised 329,100.
Employees in "real estate credit" accounted for 197,400 of February's total, off from a revised 197,800 the prior month.
"Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" represented 73,700, slightly higher than January's revised 73,500.
Impacting February were 754 California layoffs at Citigroup Inc.