Mortgage lenders reduced their payrolls in October for the second consecutive month -- this time by 4,700 full-time employees -- as demand for refinancings fell dramatically.The Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday show that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector fell from 421,400 in September to 416,700 in October. The interest rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stayed below 6% in October. However, origination volume was off by 30%-50% during some weeks in October (compared with that of the same weeks a year earlier). Meanwhile, the November job report for the economy as a whole disappointed many who expected to see a real boost in hiring. Only 57,000 new jobs were created in November, compared with 126,000 in October. (There is a one-month lag in mortgage employment data due to changes the Labor Department made to its employment report earlier this year.) The BLS can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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