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Mortgage Jobs Continue to Diminish

September mortgage employment down 5,200

Nov. 8, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

The latest reading on mortgage jobs was worse, though staffing was higher than a year earlier. Overall U.S. employment, on the other hand, made healthy gains last month -- sending bond yields into the stratosphere.

During the month of September, there were 286,200 people classified as working in the mortgage industry, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated.

Industry-wide headcount was down from the previous month, when the total was 291,400. August's number was revised down from 291,900 mortgage jobs originally reported.

It was the second consecutive month mortgage jobs declined.

Impacting the latest numbers were JPMorgan Chase & Co., where more than 800 positions were eliminated as part of a reduction of 11,000 mortgage jobs this year; Bank of America Corp., which cut nearly 800 jobs in September; and Wells Fargo & Co., with nearly 600 layoffs disclosed during the month

Staffing in real estate finance was higher, however, than the 282,700 mortgage jobs in place a year earlier. The BLS, a division of the Department of Labor, originally reported September 2012 mortgage employment at 285,000.

Jobs classified as "real estate credit" declined to 210,400 from 213,100 in August. In the same month last year, this category had 208,300 people.

"Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" accounted for 75,800 of September's total, falling from the previous month's 78,300. In September 2012, the broker total was 74,400.

The BLS said that nonfarm payrolls across all U.S. industries increased by a stellar 204,000 jobs in October. The gain was only 148,000 in September.

The strong rise in jobs is placing upward pressure on interest rates as the Federal Reserve will have less incentive to maintain its Quantitative Easing strategy of acquiring agency mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds at the $85 billion monthly pace in place now.

In early trading, the price of the 10-year Treasury note plummeted by 1 4/32. Yields move up as bond prices move lower.

The unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in October, according to the BLS, up from the 7.2 percent a month earlier.

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