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Brokers Drag Down Mortgage Employment

The number of people working in the mortgage industry eased in December thanks to a drop in the number of mortgage brokers. Meanwhile, a data revision by the government has 15,000 more people now working in the business.

December’s mortgage employment count came in at 260,600, according to data published Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

U.S. mortgage headcount eased from 261,200 in November. However, the government significantly revised November’s numbers up from the 245,300 mortgage jobs originally reported last month.

The bureau, a division of the Department of Labor, said 261,400 people were employed in real estate finance during December 2009. But the year-ago numbers have also been revised; the government originally reported the December 2009 total at just 253,400.

The improvement from November was supported by jobs in “real estate credit,” which climbed to 199,100 from 197,900. Mortgage Daily has recently reported about several mid-sized mortgage bankers who are recruiting sales staff.

But “mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” employment was lower, falling to 61,500 from the previous month’s 63,300.

The bureau said U.S. employment gained 36,000 jobs in January. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 9.0 percent from 9.4 percent in December.

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