FEB 22, 2013 11:16am ET

Mortgage Industry Employment Boom Is Seen Extending into 2013

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Here’s a salute to the entire mortgage industry. During 2012, the business as a whole added 29,000 jobs, an 11% boost not just to the niche but to the entire national economy.

You can think of the national economy as a three-legged stool, held up by the government, private and consumer sectors. When the proper mixture gets out of whack, the economy struggles.

So for several years after the crash, both to the delight and dismay of some, government spending attempted to make up for the slack in private sector and consumer spending.

It is time that private sector took the lead here. Government spending, hard as it is for many to believe this, will taper off as everybody agrees to get serious about deficit reduction.

Consumers are still keeping their hands in their pockets after their scary rocketship ride of boom and bust. Maybe they should keep them there for a little while longer.

Now, 290,000 jobs is only a little more than half of sector hiring at the peak of the boom, which was more than 500,000.

But it is a very nice investment of people and treasure into a still-struggling economy.

No one waves a magic wand and decides there will be 29,000 more mortgage workers (this is a Bureau of Labor Statistics number). It is achieved a little here and a little there at a time.

So from time to time we’re going to give a shout out to mortgage firms (lenders or vendors) that bring on ten net new hires at a time. And in some cases, the numbers are higher. A lot higher.

Take loanDepot, for instance. The California mortgage lender increased its payrolls by 550 jobs last year. And that’s a subset of more than 1,000 new hires since 2010. Sometimes the results are more modest than that, but still good.

Take Equity Loans LLC of Atlanta, which opened 17 new branches last year and added a dozen new hires. Loan production was up by more than 50%.

Vendor LPS recently held a career open house in Westminster, Colo., to fill 30 technology positions open there.

LPS, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is also looking to expand its headquarters there and at other company locations.

These are the kind of things we’re talking about!

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