Staffing within the mortgage industry expanded during the final three months of last year, with non-bank lenders responsible for much of the hiring activity. Banks saw the biggest mortgage layoffs.
As of the end of last year, an estimated 577,800 people were employed in the mortgage industry. The total was based on a Mortgage Daily analysis of Department of Labor data and origination market share data.
Mortgage staffing increased from an estimated 567,500 at the close of the third quarter. But industry-wide headcount tumbled from an estimated 650,600 at the end of 2013.
The fourth-quarter 2014 total included approximately 228,200 mortgage jobs at banks, rising from around 225,200 in the prior period but sinking from roughly 300,600 in the fourth-quarter 2013.
Credit unions employed 61,400, more than the third quarter's 59,400 but off from 62,600 one year prior.
Non-bank mortgage employment increased to roughly 288,100 at the end of last year from 282,900 at the end of the third quarter. Non-bank lenders were the only employers to see a year-over-year increase from the close of 2013, when they employed 287,400 people.
Mortgage Daily tracked net job losses of 3,699 that occurred during the fourth-quarter, fewer than the 5,577 tracked in the previous three-month period and the 18,797 in job losses tracked in the final quarter of 2013.
Hiring and firing activity was accumulated through a combination of lender surveys conducted by Mortgage Daily, Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notifications filed with state employment agencies, and publicly reported data.
Much of the hiring activity in the fourth quarter was at non-bank lenders and under the radar. Had the activity at the smaller firms been available -- there would likely have been a net gain in jobs reflected in the fourth quarter.
For all of last year, 28,337 total job losses were tracked, modestly fewer than the net outflow of 31,931 real estate finance jobs in 2013.
The fourth-quarter 2014 total reflected 6,651 layoffs,
down from 7,857 in the third quarter and tumbling from 21,878 in the fourth-quarter 2013.
Offsetting fourth-quarter 2014 layoffs were 2,952 in mortgage hirings tracked, more than the 2,280 three months earlier but fewer than the 3,081 identified a year earlier.
The most job losses were tracked in Missouri, where layoffs exceeded hirings by 779. Behind the decline were layoffs at Citigroup Inc.'s mortgage unit, which maintains its headquarters in the St. Louis area.
Biggest Job Losses by State
Michigan, where Quicken Loans Inc. has been boosting its Detroit staff, saw the biggest gains of any state.
Biggest Job Gains by State
Big banks suffered the biggest mortgage job losses, though Wells Fargo & Co. was missing from this list.
Biggest Job Losses by Company
Quicken was by far the biggest recruiter in the industry during the fourth quarter with its staff growing by a thousand employees.
Biggest Job Gains by Company