Defying a five-month growth trend, mortgage industry layoffs appear to have kicked in as the government's latest employment report showed there were less people working in the sector.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of people working in mortgage-related jobs totaled 454,300 in July -- 3,000 less than during June. Mortgage jobs are also below the level a year ago of 457,600.
The Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, reports employment numbers about 30 days following the end of each month.
The latest total consisted of 127,100 mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers, and 327,200 people working in Real Estate Credit, which of the two sectors is the one that had the largest month-to-month drop, according to the report.
The decrease in mortgage-related employment follows announcements by J.P. Morgan, which said it will cut jobs when it closes a mortgage-processing unit in Florida, and National City -- which will also reportedly cut about 110 jobs as a result of shutting down a subprime unit it picked up in the acquisition of Provident Bank in Cincinnati, according to spokesman Chris Kemper.
The Bureau said the unemployment rate in August was 5.4%, or 8.0 million people, slightly less than the previous month.