The residential mortgage industry employed 484,100 workers in March, a 3.8% decline from the level of a year earlier and an indication that the subprime crisis is starting to result in permanent job losses.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry lost 5,700 jobs from February to March. (The BLS figures represent mortgage bankers, brokers, and related jobs in the industry.) Figures compiled by National Mortgage News show that about 45 mortgage banking firms have either closed their doors or shut part of their production platforms since mid-December. The BLS can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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