Monthly mortgage employment numbers eased, though jobs in real estate finance have tumbled more than 100,000 during the past year.
Around 364,100 people worked in mortgage lending during February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Mortgage jobs edged slightly lower from 364,800 in January. In February 2007, a revised 475,700 people were employed in mortgage-related jobs.
People employed in "real estate credit" totaled 251,400 during the latest month, off from 252,900 in January, according to the bureau, a division of the Department of Labor.
"Mortgage and non-mortgage loan brokers" accounted for 112,700 jobs in February, up from 111,900, the report indicated.
Unemployment was 5.1 percent in March, climbing from 4.8 percent in February, BLS said. The civilian labor force rose to 153.8 million during the month.
Job demand edged higher in March, with the Monster Employment Index rising to 167 from 165 in February, Monster Worldwide Inc. reported. The company noted a sharp drop in online job availability in finance, reflecting continued turmoil in U.S. financial sector.
"This month's results also underscore the adverse effect the subprime mortgage industry fallout has had on hiring efforts in the financial services sector, particularly in the Northeast region of the country," Monster executive Jesse Harriott said in the statement.