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Brokers Pull Down Mortgage Employment

Non-bank mortgage employment 333,200 in January

March 10, 2017

By Mortgage Daily staff

A month-over-month decline in the number of people working in real estate finance was the result of a drop in staffing at the nation's mortgage brokers.

U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 235,000 jobs during February, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Growth was mostly in line with the upwardly revised 238,000 jobs added the previous month and the downwardly revised 237,000 a year previous.

The BLS said the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent in January and 4.9 percent in February 2016.

At 63.0 percent in February 2017, the labor participation rate improved from 62.9 percent a month earlier and a year earlier.

National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions Chief Economist Curt Long weighed in on the employment report.

"With the addition of 340,000 to the labor force, the participation rate equaled its high-water mark of the past three years, and broader measures of unemployment declined," Long in a written statement. "Most doubts about whether the FOMC would hike at its March meeting were put to bed last week after a series of hawkish remarks from Fed officials, but any lingering uncertainty has certainly been squelched with today's strong report."

BLS data for the mortgage industry, which is reported on a one-month lag, indicated that there were 333,200 non-bank mortgage jobs as of January 2017.

Mortgage employment was trimmed from an upwardly revised 334,700 the previous month. But the sector expanded from the same month the previous year, when the total was an upwardly revised 306,500.

The non-bank mortgage total included 242,000 positions classified as "real estate credit." The total increased from an upwardly revised 241,400 in December 2016.

But the number of "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" was reduced to 91,200 in January 2017 from a downwardly revised 93,300.

An analysis of BLS data and origination market share by Mortgage Daily indicates that there were an estimated 739,300 total jobs in the mortgage industry including positions at financial institutions as of January 2017.

Total estimated staffing in home lending fell from an upwardly revised 742,600 the prior month but was up from a downwardly revised 641,600 a year prior.

The latest mortgage estimate was comprised of 337,700 positions at banks, 68,300 credit union positions and the 333,200 non-bank total reported by the BLS.

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