A decline in the number of mortgage brokers pushed down overall mortgage employment.
The number of people working in real estate finance during May was 467,100, according to data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure was lower than 472,000 in April and well below 499,800 a year earlier.
May's mortgage employment was driven by a decline of about 5,400 in the number of "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers," the bureau reported, leaving about 136,000 active brokers.
The number of people in "real estate credit" was 331,100 -- rising about 500 from April, the agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, reported.
Impacting May's figures were 108 layoffs at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., more than 2,000 layoffs at ACC Capital Holdings Inc., 120 job cuts at NetBank Inc., 600 layoffs at Option One Mortgage Corp. and approximately 440 layoffs at LendingTree. But, apparently, job additions such as the 2,000 disclosed by Countrywide Financial Corp.'s chief Angelo Mozilo were enough to offset the losses.
Layoffs at GreenPoint Mortgage, Washington Mutual Inc. and BNC Mortgage LLC will impact June's figures, which are expected to be released in early August.
In all U.S. industries, employment rose by 132,000 in June, the report indicated. Unemployment was unchanged from May at 4.5 percent.