During all of last year, staffing in the mortgage industry expanded -- though rising interest rates are likely to reverse recent gains. California experienced the biggest quarterly gain.
As of year-end 2016, there were an estimated 742,600 people who were employed in real estate finance.
The total increased from 677,400 as of the end of the third quarter.
Estimated industry headcount
has expanded even more significantly when compared to the conclusion of 2015, when the number of mortgage jobs came to an upwardly revised 640,600.
The findings were based on an analysis of mortgage jobs data as
part of the Mortgage Daily Fourth Quarter 2016 Mortgage Employment Index.
The latest quarterly estimate consisted of 339,300 mortgage jobs at banks,
68,700 home-lending positions at credit unions and 334,700 non-bank mortgage employees.
The following table shows estimated mortgage jobs by employer type as of the prior quarter and a year earlier.
Estimated Mortgage Staffing by Quarter
estimated mortgage employment has fallen to 736,000 people as of Feb. 28, 2017 -- including 336,200 bank jobs, 68,000 credit union positions and 331,700 non-bank employees.
The decline is likely to continue throughout the year as home lenders adjust staffing for slowing refinance originations and fewer delinquent loans.
Mortgage Daily's Mortgage Employment Index, which reflects specific rounds of layoffs and hirings tracked by Mortgage Daily, indicated that throughout 2016 there were 8,813 layoffs tracked and 16,715 hirings covered, putting the net gain on jobs tracked at 7,902. Last year's job growth swung from a net loss of 3,035 positions in 2015.
During just the fourth-quarter 2016, tracked hirings exceeded layoffs by 3,243 -- the best number since the first-quarter 2013's net gain of 5,129.
Job Gains/Losses by Quarter
In the Golden State, mortgage hirings outpaced layoffs by 543 jobs during the three months ended Dec. 31, 2016, the biggest net gain of any state during the quarter.
Biggest Job Gains by State - Fourth Quarter 2016
But in the Sunshine State, layoffs exceeded hirings by 165 jobs -- the biggest loss of mortgage jobs tracked in the Mortgage Employment Index report.
Biggest Job Losses by State - Fourth Quarter 2016
Quicken Loans Inc., which reports quarterly staffing in thousands, had the biggest gain in headcount of any mortgage banking firm during the fourth-quarter 2016: 1,000.
Biggest Job Gains by Company - Fourth Quarter 2016
At the other end of the spectrum was Ocwen Financial Corp., where there were 483 more layoffs than hirings.
Biggest Job Losses by Company - Fourth Quarter 2016