Mortgage lenders added 3,000 full-time employees to their payrolls in June, according to the July employment report released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.The BLS report shows that jobs in the mortgage banking/broker sector rose from 454,300 in May to 457,300 in June. (There is a one-month lag in BLS reporting of mortgage sector employment data.) But after five consecutive months of employment gains, BLS economists estimate that the mortgage sector lost jobs in July. The credit intermediation industry shed 16,000 jobs in July, and mortgage banking makes up a large piece of that interest-rate-sensitive industry, according to BLS economist Michael Stropel. Although the actual mortgage banking numbers for July will not be released until next month, Mr. Stropel said the estimate is based on what "we have seen in the past versus what we are seeing right now," including a "stark" decline in refinancings. The BLS can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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