Monthly mortgage job gains continued for the third consecutive month. Among all U.S. industries, jobs data for last month was healthy.
The U.S. nonfarm payroll was 149,128,000 as of July, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the Department of Labor.
That turned out to be an increase of 157,000 jobs compared to the upwardly revised level for the previous month. Last month's gain came up short versus 248,000 jobs added in June.
July's job growth also was down from the downwardly revised 190,000 positions that were added in the same month last year.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 4.0 percent in June and 4.3 percent in July 2017.
At 62.9 percent, there was no change in the labor participation rate from a month earlier or a year earlier.
Average hourly wages were $27.05 last month, rising 0.4 percent from June.
BLS data indicate that there were 345,400 non-bank mortgage jobs as of June -- including 253,300 positions classified as "real estate credit" and 92,100
"mortgage and non-mortgage loan brokers."
Mortgage staffing increased from a downwardly revised 341,200 jobs as of May. Mortgage employment has expanded each month since March. Residential lending staffing was also higher than a downwardly revised 339,600 positions in June 2017.
A Mortgage Daily analysis that extrapolates the BLS non-bank mortgage employment numbers based on origination market share indicates that total mortgage staffing, including jobs at financial institutions, was an estimated 707,300 as of June.
The total for the real estate finance industry included an estimated 297,000 mortgage jobs at banks, 64,900 home-lending positions at credit unions and the 345,400 non-bank jobs reported by the BLS.