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Contraction Continues With Mortgage Jobs

While the country as a whole continued to add jobs at a healthy pace, the mortgage sector continued to lose jobs. Mortgage employment was higher, however, on a year-over-year basis.

Companies classified as mortgage firms employed an estimated 284,000 people in October, data released Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated.

Industry headcount declined from 285,800 employees in September. The month earlier total was revised down from 286,200 originally reported.

However, mortgage jobs were up slightly from 283,200 in October 2012. The year-earlier count was revised down from 284,500 originally reported.

Some mortgage firms to report significant job cuts in October included Wells Fargo & Co., which lost more than 3,000 employees; Bank of America Corp., where more than 1,000 layoffs occurred; and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which eliminated more than a thousand jobs..

October’s total mortgage employment number reflected 208,800 positions classified as “real estate credit,” down from 210,400 a month earlier but rising than 207,400 a year earlier.

Another 75,200 “mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” were in October’s total, fewer than the 75,400 reported for September and 75,800 reported for October 2013.

The BLS, a division of the Department of Labor, reported that U.S. unemployment was 7.023 percent in November, falling from 7.280 percent the prior month.

The rate has improved significantly from November 2012, when unemployment stood at 7.8 percent.

The last time the unemployment rate was this low was in November 2008, when it stood at 6.8 percent.

Even more significant was that the economy added 203,000 to nonfarm payroll employment. It was the second month in a row that more than 200,000 jobs were added.

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