Mortgage companies dropped 10,500 full-time employees from their payrolls in April as the contraction in subprime lending is finally showing up in the government's employment reports.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banking/broker sector fell from 481,200 in March to 470,700 in April. Surprisingly, mortgage brokers seem to be staying on the job. The BLS report shows that 140,700 brokers were employed in April, down only 500 from the level of the previous month. So the jobs report appears to be picking up closings and layoffs at subprime companies. According to preliminary survey results compiled by National Mortgage News, subprime production fell 30% in the first quarter compared with that of the same quarter last year. Overall production was down by about 10%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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