Staffing among mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers has expanded by more than 10 percent over the past year. Meanwhile, positive government data about overall U.S. employment took an immediate toll on mortgage rates.
The government’s monthly tally had mortgage industry employment totaling 288,900 in March. The preliminary numbers are subject to adjustment.
Lender payrolls grew from February, when a revised 287,300 people were employed in real estate finance. Mortgage jobs have expanded each month since December 2012, when a revised 289,100 mortgage jobs were reported.
More people were employed in the business during the most recent period than in March 2012, based on historical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports the employment numbers each month. A revised 277,000 employees were classified as mortgage a year earlier.
March’s growth came from employees who are categorized as “real estate credit.” This group’s numbers rose to 212,300 from 210,400 in February.
Among the companies that fueled the growth in “real estate credit” jobs were Quicken Loans Inc., which grew by 2,000 jobs in the first quarter; Wells Fargo & Co., where at least 1,595 hirings were tracked for the first quarter; and Walter Investment Management Corp., which has expanded its staffing by 2,200 people between September 2012 and April 2013.
“Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers,” however, saw a decline among their ranks, with headcount slipping to 76,600 from the previous month’s 76,900.
In April, non-farm payroll employment among all U.S. sectors was up 165,000, quite a recovery from the meager 88,000 jobs added in March.
Unemployment for all industries was 7.5 percent, falling from 7.6 percent a month earlier. The unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since December 2008, when it was 7.3 percent.
The price on the 10-year Treasury bond, which is a benchmark for interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages, was down 27/32 in earlier trading as bond investors shifted their money to equities in light of the positive employment data. Bond prices move down as bond yields increase — indicating that mortgage rates are on the rise.