Growth in staffing at mortgage brokers overcame a small decline at mortgage bankers and pushed overall employment in the real estate finance sector higher. The bigger news, however, was the U.S. unemployment rate — which sank to its lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years.
The mortgage industry employed 236,500 people during the month of October, though the government employment data is likely to be revised multiple times over the next 12 months.
Industry-wide headcount grew from a revised 235,000 during September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. September mortgage jobs were previously reported at 234,500.
The bureau, a division of the Department of Labor, reported a revised 262,100 people working in the mortgage industry during October 2010. The year-earlier figure was originally reported at 247,700.
Employment in “real estate credit” was 186,300, slipping from September’s 186,600.
“Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers,” meanwhile, saw their staffing levels climb to 50,200 from 48,400.
Unemployment across all industries tumbled to 8.6 percent during November from 9.0 percent in October. It was the second month in a row the unemployment fell.
The improvement in unemployment came as total nonfarm payrolls climbed by 120,000 jobs.
While lower unemployment is a good sign for the economy, it also places upward pressure on interest rates. In early trading, the price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 5/32. Treasury prices move inversely to Treasury yields.