Nonbank mortgage companies reduced their payrolls by 4,700 positions in March, nearly four times the amount of jobs lost in February.

Mortgage bankers and brokers employed approximately 270,000 in March, compared with 283,700 in February, according to the Department of Labor. The number of jobs lost in the nonbank mortgage sector in February was 1,200 and in January, it was 6,100.

A harsh winter affected real estate sales in January and February, although data on pending existing home sales for March showed the largest growth in this area in three years.

There is a one-month lag in the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting of mortgage employment data.

For April, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000. In March, there were 192,000 jobs created. April's unemployment rate was 6.3%, down 0.4 percentage points from March.

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