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DEC 6, 2013 10:31am ET

Job Losses in Mortgage Sector Slow in October

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Nonbank mortgage companies cut fewer employees in October than in prior the two months, which may signal the worst of the downsizing is over.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning that mortgage banking and brokerage firms reduced their payrolls by 1,800 full-time employees in October after cutting 5,600 in the prior month.

Employment in the mortgage banking/broker sector has been falling since June due to rising mortgage rates and declining refinancing volumes.

Overall employment in this mortgage sector fell to 284,000 in October from 285,800 in September. Back in June, these mortgage companies had 290,500 employees.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy created 203,000 new jobs in October, topping the 200,000 created in September. BLS also reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7% in November from 7.3% in October.

The jobs report is better than expected and the rate on the 10-year Treasury note was higher in early trading.

(There is a one-month lag in the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting of mortgage employment data.)

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