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July Mortgage Employment Up Slightly

Mortgage Jobs Ease as Unemployment Jumps356,400 mortgage jobs during July

September 5, 2008

By staff

Mortgage employment eased in July. People exiting the industry are finding it tougher to find jobs in other sectors as overall unemployment climbed.

Around 356,400 people were employed in mortgage-related jobs during July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Jobs in the sector edged down from a revised 358,500 in June and were well off a revised 434,300 in July 2007.

The bureau is a division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The most recent month included 243,400 people in “real estate credit” and 113,000 “mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers,” the data indicated.

July’s mortgage employment activity was impacted by the closing of Wachovia Corp.’s wholesale lending business, impacting an undisclosed number of employees; the July 11 collapse of IndyMac Bank F.S.B., which just a few days earlier halted conventional mortgage operations and noted it would layoff 3,800 employees; and 266 layoffs at Chase Home Lending.

During August, employment in financial activities declined 2,000, according to the ADP National Employment Report announced yesterday.

“Two sectors of the economy hit hardest by recent problems in mortgage markets have been residential construction and financial activities related to home sales and mortgage lending,” the ADP report said. “Today’s report suggests little lessening of the recent strain on employment in these industries.”

Across all U.S. business sectors, unemployment during August rose to 6.1 percent from 5.7 percent in July, the bureau reported. The number of people unemployed increased 592,000 to 9.4 million. The number of people unemployed has increased by 2.2 million over the past year.

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