Mortgage Daily

Published On: July 6, 2018

After sinking to the lowest level since the turn of the century, unemployment rose as the labor participation improved. Despite a drop in broker count, non-bank mortgage employment grew.

In its jobs report for June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 148.912 million nonfarm jobs. That was an increase of 213,000 positions from the prior month.

Staffing growth slowed compared to May, when employers added an upwardly revised 244,000 jobs. Employment expansion also lagged June 2017, when an upwardly revised 239,000 jobs were added.

Unemployment was 4.0 percent, worsening from a month earlier when the rate was 3.8 percent
— an 18-year low. But the rate retreated from 4.3 percent a year earlier.

National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions Chief Economist Curt Long explained in a written statement that deterioration in the unemployment rate was the result of an improvement in the labor participation rate, which the BLS reported climbed to 62.9 percent from 62.7 percent in May 2018.

At $26.98, average hourly wages were up 0.19 percent from the last report.

“Wage growth remains stuck below 3 percent, which will provide some reassurance to the Fed that inflationary pressures remain relatively muted,” Long added.

The BLS data indicated that in the mortgage industry, which is
reported on a one-month lag, there were 341,500 non-bank jobs as of April. The total expanded from a downwardly revised 337,700 the prior month and grew from a downwardly revised 334,300 a year prior.

The month-over-month mortgage gain reflects the strong numbers for the overall U.S. job market previously reported for May. Given the delay in the release of mortgage jobs data, next month’s report could see declining mortgage numbers.

“Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers” accounted for 91,300 of the most-recent month’s total, declining from 91,900 in April.

But the count for positions classified as “real estate credit” surged to 250,200 from 245,800.

Extrapolating the BLS non-bank mortgage total based on origination market share, Mortgage Daily estimates that total mortgage employment — including jobs at financial institutions — came to 669,400 as of May 2018. The estimate was comprised of 265,500 mortgage employees at banks, 62,300 home-lending jobs at credit unions and the 341,500 non-bank jobs reported by the BLS.

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