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Mortgage Sector Loses More Jobs

244,000 mortgage-related jobs during June

Aug. 6, 2010

By MortgageDaily.com staff


For the past few years, the government has reported nearly every month that the mortgage industry contracted. This month was no different. But ridiculously low mortgage rates and a growing backlog of loans in process are placing pressure on lenders to add production personnel.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics released monthly employment data today.

According to the report, 244,000 people worked in real estate finance during June. The latest total was lower than a revised 246,500 in May.

U.S. mortgage headcount was down even more sharply when compared to June 2009's revised 264,400 employees.

June's decline was mostly the result of a drop in the number of "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers." The bureau reported that broker count fell to 57,400 from 58,900 a month earlier and 66,900 a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the number of people in "real estate credit" fell to 186,600 from May's 187,600 and June 2009's 197,500.

June's mortgage job losses were impacted by up to 600 job cuts as a result of the closing of 300 CitiFinancial branches.

But more recently, a number of mortgage service providers have been growing and hiring.

In addition, the 30-year fixed rate hit a record-low 4.69 percent in June and hasn't stopped falling since. With record-low rates backing up the pipelines of loans in process, the pressure is on to expand production staffs -- though much of the growth will likely occur with temporary positions.

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment contracted by 131,000 jobs in July, though factoring out the loss of census workers -- private-sector employment increased 71,000.

U.S. unemployment was unchanged from June at 9.5 percent, according to the government data.

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