Mortgage companies cut their payrolls by 2,100 full-time employees in July, according to a newly released government report that is generally slow to react to changing conditions in the mortgage industry.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector fell from 459,200 in June to 457,100 in July. BLS data indicate that 32,700 jobs have been lost in the mortgage industry since February. The credit crunch that has nearly halted subprime lending and severely restricted the availability of jumbo mortgages is forcing many lenders to cut their payrolls dramatically. Recently, Lehman Brothers said it would shut down its subprime mortgage unit in a move that affects 1,200 employees. Countrywide Financial Corp. is cutting its work force by 900 employees, and more layoffs are expected. The BLS can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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