It was the second consecutive month that more people entered the mortgage industry than exited. The positive report was complimented by news about lower U.S. unemployment and higher job growth across all industries.
The number of people working in real estate finance was 237,200 in November.
Industry headcount climbed from a revised 236,400 reported for the month of October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Helping to boost November’s numbers were JPMorgan Chase & Co, which hired thousands of mortgage employees last year; BBVA Compass, which said it is opening a mortgage operations center in Arizona; and Stonegate Mortgage Corp., where staffing is expected to increase by 300 jobs.
Wingspan Portfolio Advisors hired hundreds of employees last year, while Wells Fargo & Co. had around 249 mortgage openings as of November and Carrington Mortgage Services expected at least a hundred hirings as of November. In addition, Greenlight Financial Services was recruiting 400 people as of October and TD Bank has been staffing up its East Coast operations.
But mortgage employment has tumbled from November 2010, when a revised 261,200 people worked in the business. The bureau, a division of the Department of Labor, originally reported the year-earlier number at 245,300.
November 2011’s total included 187,000 “real estate credit” employees, increasing from 186,400 a month earlier.
“Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” accounted for 50,200 of the most recent total, up from October’s 50,000.
Across all U.S. industries, nonfarm employment expanded by 200,000 jobs during December, the BLS reported.
U.S. unemployment, meanwhile, fell to 8.5 percent in December from 8.6 percent in November.