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Job additions, layoffs and employment lawsuits. Employment data from the Department of Labor, state tracking, reports and analysis. Job finding tips.

Surprise Drop in Mortgage Jobs

266,100 mortgage-related jobs in April

June 5, 2009

By staff

Despite an increase in the number of brokers and thousand of open positions, monthly mortgage employment deteriorated in the latest government report.

Data released this morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that there were 266,100 people working in positions tied to real estate finance during April. Jobs in the sector fell from a revised 270,600 in March and tumbled from a revised 314,600 a year earlier.

The overall U.S. nonfarm employment sector shed 345,000 jobs in May. The decline was around half the average monthly decline over the prior six months.

"Real estate credit" positions accounted for 191,500 of the latest mortgage employment total, falling from a revised 197,200 in March. Impacting April's activity were the following layoffs.

New Frontier Bank Greeley, Colo. 237
AMCORE Financial Inc. Rockford, Ill. 116
Chase Home Lending N.C. 92
Chase Home Lending Texas 75
PNC Financial Services U.S. 75
JPMorgan Chase & Co. U.S. 42
PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. U.S. 35
Capstone Realty Advisors LLC na na

The decline is puzzling given the thousands of hirings tracked by at companies including Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, PNC Financial Services Group and JPMorgan.

But the number of "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" increased to 74,600 in April from 73,400 during March.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent from 8.9 percent.

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