The number of people employed in mortgage-related jobs fell by 1,000 to 422,000, according to a recent government employment report.
The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed there were 109,500 loan brokers, both mortgage and nonmortgage, as of September. The non-seasonally adjusted figure is down from 113,000 in August. A year ago, the sector had 85,700 employees.
The number of people working in the Real Estate Credit sector totaled 312,500, up from 310,000 the prior month, reported the bureau. The 2,500 employee increase came short of recovering the 2,600 drop in August. Last September, employees totaled 273,900 in this sector.
The dip in employment follows flattening refinancing activity since June -- when rates hit record lows. Mortgage applications have had a hard time recovering from a 20.5% weekly slump reported in mid-October by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
The news about the declining mortgage employment numbers, which are reported about one month after the end of each month, follows recent reports of layoffs from Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and E-LOAN.
The bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, announced October's unemployment rate at 6.0% or 8.8 million people, down a notch from 6.1% the prior month.