Although job growth among all U.S. industries slowed last month, prior-month data was revised up and unemployment fell to its lowest level in nearly a half-century. Despite a steep decline in mortgage brokers, non-bank mortgage jobs expanded.
The U.S. labor force finished September at a preliminary 149,500,000 nonfarm employees, data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated.
Last month's national headcount
rose by 134,000 jobs over the preceding month. The September gain plummeted from 270,000 jobs added in August -- though the prior month data was revised up by a whopping 69,000 jobs.
Job growth was far stronger, however, than the upwardly revised 14,000 employees added during September 2017.
The unemployment rate was
3.7 percent -- the lowest it has been since December 1969, when it was 3.5 percent.
The labor participation rate was unchanged at 62.7 percent, and hourly wages rose 8 cents to 27.24.
Interest rates rose on the jobs report, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note trading at 3.23 percent near midday, up from 3.19 percent at Thursday's close.
BLS data on the mortgage industry, which is reported on a one-month lag, indicate there were 345,500 non-bank mortgage jobs during August.
The total rose by 200 versus the count a month earlier. A year earlier, there were a downwardly revised 341,900 non-bank jobs.
One component of mortgage jobs, positions classified as "real estate credit," jumped by 2,000 jobs to 255,300. But the other component, "mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers," declined to 90,200 from 92,000 in July.
A Mortgage Daily estimate of total employment in the mortgage industry, including employees at financial institutions, came to 675,700 as of Aug. 31. The total, which was extrapolated from the BLS number based on origination market share, was comprised of 275,900 home-lending employees at banks, 54,400 people working in the mortgage departments at credit unions and the 345,500 jobs reported by the BLS.