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Industry Employment Continues to Grow

The mortgage companies continued to add new full-time employees to their payrolls in July, bringing the total of new hires over the past 12 months to 45,100.

Lenders hired 4,800 new employees in July, according the August employment report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as jobs in the mortgage banking/broker sector rose from 517,100 in June to 521,900 in July.

Employment has been steady rising over the past 12 months as record home sales, along with a high level of refinancings, could make 2005 the second best year ever in terms of originations.

Mortgage Bankers Association financial economist, Jay Brinkmann, pointed out that purchase mortgage transactions are more labor intensive than refinancings, placing more demands on loan officers and back-office personnel. He also noted that heavy subprime volumes could be prompting more hires.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy generated 169,000 new jobs in August and the unemployment rate edged down to 4.9% from 5.0% in July. BLS economists also revised the July jobs number of 207,000 up to 242,000 in Friday's report.

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