Jobs in the mortgage sector, which are down more than 175,000 from their peak, continued to decline in the latest government report. Employment in the sector has contracted for 13 consecutive months.
During March, there were 360,100 people employed in real estate finance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Mortgage employment fell from a revised 364,700 in February and stands well below a revised 465,800 jobs in March 2007.
Mortgage jobs have decreased every month since February 2007, when the number stood at 491,300, based on data reported by the bureau. Mortgage employment had reached a peak of 535,400 in October 2005.
The latest figures included 249,100 positions in "real estate credit" and 111,000 "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers," according to the data.
March employment was impacted by 450 home equity lending layoffs announced by JPMorgan Chase & Co.; another 54 subprime layoffs reported for Chase; 479 HEL positions cut by CitiMortgage; 500 employees impacted by the collapse of Global Mortgage Inc.; and 650 employees laid off from the closing of First Franklin Financial Corp.
In April, overall U.S. employment was down 20,000 from the prior month, according to the bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. U.S. employment was down 240,000 during the first quarter.
Unemployment was 5.0 percent in April, "little changed" from March, the report said.