Mortgage Firms Have Hired 23,000 Since January

Mortgage companies continued hiring in September, adding 3,700 full-time workers to their payrolls, according to government figures released Friday.   

September marks the fifth straight month of job growth in the mortgage industry, which has seen its head count increase 8.8% over the prior 12 months.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banking and brokerage sector rose to 285,000 positions in September from 281,300 in August. (The residential finance figures lag the national ones by a month.)

Since January, lenders have hired 22,900 new employees to keep up with the demand for refinancings. Mortgage brokerages are responsible for 12,100 of the new hires.

Meanwhile, Friday’s jobs report shows the U.S. economy created 171,000 new jobs in October, compared to 148,000 in September.  The September figure was revised upward by 34,000 jobs.

The national unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% in October from 7.8% in September.