Despite mortgage industry production that is well below the record set during 2003, more people were employed in mortgage lending in March than any other month in history.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that 501,700 people were employed in mortgage-related jobs during March, up from a revised 497,700 the prior month. In March 2004, 462,900 people were employed in the real estate finance sector.
The growth in mortgage industry jobs occurred even as the Mortgage Bankers Association expects only $2.5 trillion in total residential originations this year -- way off the $3.8 trillion reached during 2003.
A Mortgage Bankers Association spokesman confirmed that the latest number represents the highest level ever for mortgage industry jobs.
People employed in "real estate credit" accounted for 375,100, the government reported, while "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" totaled 126,600.
Unemployment was 5.2% in April, according to the bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, unchanged from March.