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Job additions, layoffs and employment lawsuits. Employment data from the Department of Labor, state tracking, reports and analysis. Job finding tips.

Mortgage Jobs Plummet

January mortgage employment down 2% from December

March 7, 2014

By Mortgage Daily staff

The mortgage industry lost more than 2 percent of its workforce during a single month. The news, however, was better for other U.S. industries -- sending interest rates higher.

Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 175,000 jobs in February among all business sectors, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

More jobs were added than in January, when nonfarm payrolls were up by 113,000. Last month was the second consecutive improvement.

"Employment increased in professional and business services and in wholesale trade but declined in information," according to the BLS, a division of the Department of Labor.

Stocks were up following the announcement, while the price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 17/32 in early trading. The yield on the 10-year Treasury -- a benchmark for fixed mortgage rates -- moves higher when the price falls.

U.S. unemployment inched up to 6.7 percent in February from the previous month's 6.6 percent.

Jobs in real estate finance, which are reported on a one-month lag, totaled 285,700 in January.

Mortgage staffing sank from the prior month, when 292,000 people were in the business.  December's total was revised up from 291,900 originally reported.

In January 2013, there were 295,000 people working in the mortgage business. The year-earlier figure was revised up from 287,100 originally reported.

Among companies that have cut mortgage jobs were Flagstar Bancorp Inc., where 600 layoffs were announced in January; JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is reducing its mortgage staff by 6,000 people this year; Citigroup Inc., with 2,200 layoffs occurring in the fourth-quarter 2013 and the first quarter of this year; and Ocwen Financial Corp., which plans to eliminate 844 positions in the first quarter.

The BLS data indicate that "real estate credit" jobs fell to 214,000 from a revised 218,200 in December 2013 and a revised 221,000 in January 2013.

"Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" accounted for 71,700 of the most recent total, fewer than a revised 73,800 a month earlier and a revised 74,500 a year earlier.

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