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Mortgage Jobs Hold Up as U.S. Employment Weakens

Among all industries, hirings weakened last month, and the prior month numbers were revised down. But staffing in home lending held steady and could strengthen thanks to a steep decline in rates today.

The U.S. nonfarm payroll population was 142,371,000 employees during September, according to data released Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the Department of Labor.

Employment grew by a weak 142,000
jobs last month. Although that was more than the 136,000 nonfarm jobs added in August, the prior month data was sharply revised down from 173,000 originally reported.

Employment growth plummeted from the upwardly revised 250,000 jobs that were added to the national workforce in September 2014.

The weak data sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling more than 240 points in early trading, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sank to 1.92 percent from yesterday’s close of 2.05 percent — giving mortgage originators ammunition in generating more business.

The unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in the latest report, no different than in August 2015, the lowest rate since April 2008’s 5.0 percent and a significant improvement over 5.9 percent in the same month last year.

In just the mortgage industry, which is reported on a one-month delay, there were 297,100 people working for non-bank mortgage firms in August.

Home lending staffing was unchanged from a month earlier.

But mortgage headcount has expanded compared to a year earlier, when there were 280,800 non-bank mortgage jobs. The August 2014 number
was revised down from 286,200 originally reported.

The BLS total included 220,100 employees classified as “real estate credit” in the most-recent month, growing from 219,800 in July and 209,500 in August 2014.

Also included were
77,000 “mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” as of August 2015. This category, however, was down from 77,300 the prior month — though there has been growth from the same month last year, when there were just 71,300 brokers.

Including home lending jobs at bank and non-bank
employers, Mortgage Daily estimates that there were 585,100 people working in the mortgage business during August. The estimate is based on BLS data as well as origination market share data.

Overall mortgage staffing was unchanged from a month earlier but higher than the estimated 563,200 as of a year earlier.

The August 2015 estimate included
227,800 mortgage jobs at banks, 60,200 positions at credit unions and 297,100 employees at non-bank mortgage companies.

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