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Broker Employment Continues Growth

Mortgage jobs off in May

July 6, 2012

By staff

The number of people employed as mortgage brokers increased from the previous month, has been higher for four consecutive months and was up from a year earlier. But the metrics weren't so good for the rest of real estate finance and other industries.

U.S. mortgage staffing was 266,500 jobs in May.

That was slightly fewer than the revised 266,600 people employed in the mortgage industry during April.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics originally reported mortgage headcount at 266,100 for April.

The number of mortgage positions in May 2011 was 269,500, a significant revision from the 241,500 originally reported for a year earlier.

Weakness in the mortgage sector was due to "real estate credit" jobs, which fell to 206,400 from 208,800 in April and 214,200 a year prior.

But "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" grew to 60,100 positions from 57,800 jobs a month earlier and 55,300 jobs a year earlier. Broker staffing has increased each month since January, when the number was 54,100.

The closing of Saxon Mortgage Services Inc. accounted for 680 North Texas job losses during May; while Bank of America eliminated 450 Concord, Calif., jobs; and another 103 people were laid off the same month at Aurora Bank FSB in Lake Forest, Calif.

Also impacting May mortgage employment numbers were CitiMortgage Inc.'s reduction of its national ranks by 750 people during the second quarter; 500 layoffs as a result of MetLife Bank, N.A.'s, exit from reverse mortgage lending; and HSBC Bank USA, N.A., which cut its Depew, N.Y., workforce by 200 people in the quarter.

U.S. employment across all industries remained weak in June, adding just 80,000 jobs. But that wasn't as bad as the 69,000 U.S. jobs added in April.

Still, the news sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than a hundred points in early trading and had the yield on the 10-year Treasury note trading around 6 basis points lower than yesterday's close.

The U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent, the same as May, according to the bureau, a division of the Department of Labor.

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