Following a rough January, when the number of people working in real estate finance sank by 4 percent in a single month, further contraction occurred in February. But beyond mortgage lending, overall U.S. employment strengthened.
The ranks of mortgage employees contracted in February, falling to 248,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. During January, when employment sank 4 percent from December 2010, a revised 249,600 people were employed in the sector.
A year earlier, revised headcount was 263,600.
February’s total included 191,300 people working in “real estate credit,” down from a revised 192,400 the prior month. The latest numbers were impacted by thousands of layoffs recently disclosed by Wells Fargo & Co. — some during February.
“Mortgage and non-mortgage loan brokers” fell to 56,700 from January’s 57,200.
But overall U.S. employment grew by 216,000 jobs in March, another report indicated.
Unemployment was 8.8 percent last month, improving again. The rate was 8.9 percent in February and 9.0 percent in January.