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Massive Mortgage Job Decline

428,300 August employment count

October 5, 2007

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Mortgage jobs are down by more than 70,000 from a year ago, according to government data released today. But the number of mortgage brokers actually increased from the prior month.

People working in real estate finance positions numbered 428,300 during August, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mortgage jobs were down by 27,200 from July and tumbled 72,000 from August 2006.

Jobs by industry are reported on a one-month lag.

Impacting August's figures were 300 eliminated positions at both Delta Financial Corp. and National City Corp.; 350 lost jobs at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc.; 351 layoffs at 1st National Bank Holding Co.; over 500 layoffs at Countrywide Financial Corp.; 550 layoffs at CIT Group Inc.; 640 layoffs at First NLC Financial Services; 1,200 employees let go from BNC Mortgage LLC; 1,500 people at Aegis Mortgage Corp. which closed; around 1,600 layoffs at Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co.; 1,900 job losses when GreenPoint Mortgage shut down; 5,500 employees who became unemployed when First Magnus Financial Corp. collapsed; and 6,000 lost jobs from the collapse of American Home Mortgage Investment Corp.

Accounting for all of August's decline were people employed in "real estate credit," which fell to 294,600 from 323,000 the prior month, according to the report.

"Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" actually increased to 133,700 from 132,500 in July, the bureau, a division of the Department of Labor, reported. The increase likely reflects a migration from the ranks of unemployed mortgage executives to mortgage brokers -- a common career move after being laid off from a mortgage company.

Unemployment, reported shortly after the end of each month, was 4.7 percent during September, unchanged from August, the report said.

Likely to impact September's numbers are 110 layoffs at ResMAE Mortgage Corp., 144 job cuts at Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc., layoffs at First Franklin Financial Corp., the elimination of 1,000 positions at Washington Mutual, 1,500 layoffs at First Horizon Home Loans, 575 more job cuts at Option One Mortgage Corp., 57 Lennar Corp. layoffs, Countrywide Financial Corp.'s warning it will lay off as many as 12,000 this year, 1,000 planned job cuts at IndyMac Bancorp Inc., 1,000 announced layoffs at National City Corp., the elimination of 850 positions at Lehman Brothers and NovaStar Financial Inc.'s reorganization resulting in 275 layoffs.

In addition, next month's report will also reflect the collapse of Aapex Mortgage Corp., the bankruptcy of Personal Financial Management, Nationstar Mortgage LLC's closing of its wholesale operations, HSBC Finance Corp.'s winding down of its Decision One Mortgage subsidiary, the failure of Expanded Mortgage Credit, E*TRADE Financial Corp.'s exit from wholesale lending, the closing of Colony Mortgage Corp., the collapse of CFIC Home Mortgage and LownHome Financial's failure.


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