The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning that employment in the mortgage banking and brokerage sector hit 289,300 in December, up from 260,300 a year ago.
Mortgage brokerage shops were responsible for 16,400 of the new hires in 2012. Employment in the brokerage sector totaled 77,300 at yearend, the highest since September 2008.
Meanwhile, Friday’s jobs report shows the U.S. economy created 157,000 new jobs in January, down from an upwardly revised 196,000 in December. The November jobs figure was revised up to 247,000.
The January jobs report also shows a 28,000 jump in construction jobs—almost evenly divided between residential and commercial construction. “However, the January level of construction employment remained about 2 million below its previous peak level in April 2006,” BLS said.
(There is a one-month lag in reporting mortgage employment data.)