Mortgage firms trimmed 2,000 positions during December.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics today reported that there were 253,400 mortgage jobs as of Dec. 31, 2009. Employment in real estate finance fell from a revised 255,400 in November.
During December 2008, mortgage employment stood at a revised 280,800.
Employees in “real estate credit” accounted for 190,300 of December’s total, down from 192,000 the prior month. “Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” eased to 63,100 from 63,400.
Companies that reported a reduction in mortgage headcount during the fourth quarter included the PNC Financial Services Group Inc., where the number of mortgage jobs was reduced by 339; Flagstar Bancorp Inc., which cut 100 originator and account executive positions; and MetLife Home Loans, which said mortgage headcount dropped by 93.
Overall U.S. employment was down a nominal 20,000 jobs during January, according to the Bureau — which is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. The decline was better than market watchers had been predicting.
Meanwhile, U.S. unemployment fell to 9.7 percent in January from 10.0 percent the prior month.