The government again reported the number of people working in mortgage lending swelled to a new high. But the boost in real estate finance employment wasn't enough to hold down overall unemployment.
There were 525,200 mortgage-related jobs during August, up from a revised 522,200 the prior month and another record, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. A year ago, there were 480,400 jobs in the sector.
The bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, releases the employment by sector details around five weeks following the end of each month.
"Real estate credit" accounted for 389,100 jobs, according to the report, while "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" accounted for the remaining 136,100.
Unemployment rose to 5.1%, up from 4.9% in August, the bureau said in the statement.
The government said response rates for its Current Population Survey and its Current Employment Statistics survey were lower than normal in some areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. But the impact of Katrina on employment and unemployment was negligible because the hurricane occurred after the reference period of the surveys.