Employment in the mortgage industry appeared to stabilize in October as lenders cut their work force by 1,600 positions after purging their payrolls of 25,600 full-time employees in September.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector declined from 403,100 in September to 401,500 in October. Since February (the high point in mortgage employment this year), the industry's work force has been reduced by 18%, and 88,300 employees have lost their jobs. There is a one-month lag in breaking out the mortgage banker/broker sector data. But Friday's jobs report points to more job losses when next month's report is released. BLS acting Commissioner Philip Rones said employment in credit intermediation declined by 13,000 in November, "reflecting weakness in housing and mortgage lending." The BLS can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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