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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 Employment Contracts Again

Non-bank mortgage jobs down 1% in February

April 1, 2016

By Mortgage Daily staff

Although employment among all industries continued to expand at a healthy clip, the number of jobs in real estate finance fell for the fifth consecutive month.

The nation's employers expanded nonfarm payroll employment by 215,000 jobs during March, according to data Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job growth was down from the prior month, when an upwardly revised 245,000 jobs were added, the BLS -- part of the Department of Labor -- reported.

But the labor market strengthened significantly from a year prior, when a downwardly revised 84,000 jobs were added.

The unemployment rate inched up to 5.0 percent from 4.9 percent in February and 5.5 percent in March 2015.

The BLS reports mortgage industry employment data on a one-month delay. As of February, there were 296,800 people working at non-bank mortgage companies.

Mortgage jobs retreated from the first month of this year, when the total was 299,000. Mortgage employment has declined each month since September 2015, when the total was an upwardly revised 301,800.

But mortgage staffing has expanded from the same month last year, when there were an upwardly revised 283,800 people in the business.

February 2016's mortgage total included 217,600 "real estate credit" employees, fewer than 219.000 a month earlier but more than 207,800 a year earlier.

"Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers" accounted for the remaining 79,200 jobs during the latest month. Broker employment declined from 80,000 in January but rose from 76,000 in February 2015.

Using origination share data along with the BLS numbers, Mortgage Daily estimates that total mortgage industry employment -- including jobs at financial institutions -- was 617,700 in February 2016.

Estimated mortgage employment contracted compared to the prior month, when there were a downwardly revised 622,300 people in the home-lending business.

But the sector has grown from one year prior, when the estimate was an upwardly revised 589,900.

The February 2016 total consisted of an estimated 258,100 mortgage jobs at banks, 62,800 residential lending employees at credit unions and the 296,800 non-bank jobs reported by the BLS.

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