Jobs in the real estate finance sector improved.
During May, 357,800 people were employed in mortgage-related jobs, data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate. Mortgage employment rose from a revised 356,300 in April.
Data on mortgage jobs are reported on a one-month lag. During May, the overall U.S. "civilian labor force had increased sharply," according to the bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.
But jobs in the mortgage sector are down substantially from a revised 448,100 during May 2007.
The latest figures include 245,700 "real estate credit" employees and 112,100 "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers."
Helping to boost May activity was Fortes Residential Mortgage Co., which this week reported it acquired a defunct wholesale operation; Mortgage Network Inc., which last month said it had recently added 85 employees over the prior year; IBM Lender Business Process Services, which announced in April plans to add 600 jobs during the next four years; Fidelity Reverse Mortgage, which said in April it is looking to hire as many as 70 new originators; Shore Mortgage, which announced in March it was seeking 100 new employees; and First Houston Mortgage, which said in January it plans to boost it staff by 100 this year;
U.S. unemployment rate was 5.5 percent during June, "essentially unchanged," the report said.