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Brokers Sustain Mortgage Jobs

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Mortgage brokers were able to overcome monthly job losses at their mortgage banking counterparts to push overall employment higher in real estate finance. Both categories have fared well over the past year.

During the month of November, 284,900 people were employed in the mortgage industry.

Staffing in the sector grew slightly from a month earlier, when the number of mortgage jobs was a revised 284,600.

The growth from a year earlier was more pronounced, with industry headcount expanding from just 265,400 jobs, based on revised U.S. employment data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employees classified as “real estate credit” accounted for 216,600 people, falling from 217,500 in October. This category, however, has expanded from 209,800 as of November 2011.

November’s “real estate credit” job losses were impacted by Bank of America, where estimated mortgage-related layoffs exceeded 900 in the fourth quarter; Citigroup Inc., which had more than a hundred layoffs during the three months ended Dec. 31; and MetLife Home Loans, with 67 job losses tracked in the final quarter of 2013.

The bureau, which operates as part of the Department of Labor, reported that “mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” saw their ranks expand — to 68,300 from 67,100 in November. Broker staffing stood at only 55,600 at the same point in 2011.

Nonfarm employers across all U.S. industries added 155,000 jobs in December, slightly stronger than the 146,000 jobs added in the previous month.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.8 percent last month, increasing from 7.7 percent previously reported for November.

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