Employment in real estate finance reversed a three-month decline and bounced back above 500,000.
There were 504,800 people working in mortgage jobs during February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest figures are about 6,500 better than revised January figures and about 25,000 better than February 2005.
The bureau, a division of the Department of Labor, reports U.S. job details on a one-month lag.
The latest numbers reflect 360,100 people working in "real estate credit" and 144,700 "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers," the government said.
Among the employers helping to fuel the recent boost in real estate finance positions were Mortgage Lenders Network USA, which stepped up its hiring plans in Connecticut; Quicken Loans, which launched a new Ohio facility and plans to add 350 jobs; and First Residential Mortgage Network, which announced plans to hire 273 new Kentucky employees.
The bureau said there were 7 million unemployed people during March, representing 4.7% of the country's workforce and little changed from February.