Mortgage Employment Hits Record

Employment in the overall mortgage industry hit a record 489,400 full-time positions in January but broker jobs appear to be slipping.

According to figures compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of real estate credit employees reached a record 366,300, but mortgage and non-mortgage broker jobs came in at 123,100 positions, the lowest reading since September of last year.

Added together, real estate credit employees and mortgage and non-mortgage brokers account for total industry employment.

In 2004, mortgage lenders funded $2.7 trillion in loans, the industry's second-best year ever, but a 30% decline from the record year of 2003.

Employment in the industry is expected to remain strong as long as mortgage rates do not rise significantly. (At press time, the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which mortgages are pegged to, was continuing to tick upwards.) When refinancings are strong, as they were in 2003, brokers tend to do better but in the fourth quarter refis accounted for 50% of production compared to a high of 76% in the first quarter of 2003.

Two years ago the mortgage industry employed 421,000 full-timers.

SNAPSHOT: Mortgage Industry Jobs In January of 2005

Brokers 123,100

Real Estate Credit 366,300

Total 489,400

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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