Mortgage companies have cut their payrolls by nearly 46,000 employees since October, including 7,400 full-time positions in June, as the slowdown in mortgage originations, particularly subprime loans, is forcing a retrenchment.The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector fell from 466,200 in May to 458,800 in June. The industry has experienced a 9.1% cutback in the work force since October, when industry employment stood at a 12-month high of 504,700. BLS data are generally good at indicating trends, but slow to react to major changes in the mortgage industry. During the boon years, the BLS data showed that industry employment rose very gradually. But the turmoil in the subprime market could cause significant downdrafts in the months ahead. The BLS can be found online at http://stats.bls.gov.

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