Mortgage Employment Cut in Half in Last Five Years

More than a half million people worked in mortgage lending as of October 2005 — the highest month on record. Five years later, fewer than half are left.

Headcount in real estate finance fell by another thousand during the third quarter of this year, according to industry data released Monday.

During the July-September period, 3,216 layoffs were tracked by the Mortgage Employment Index provided by the industry resource center MortgageDaily.com. The latest numbers are worse than the second quarter’s 2,028 layoffs.

Hirings also deteriorated, falling to 2,286 in Q3 from the prior period’s 2,768. The net effect was that there were 930 fewer people working in the mortgage sector than in the second quarter.

In October 2005, near the end of the bull real estate market that eventually collapsed and sparked the Great Recession, mortgage employment peaked at 535,400 based on government data. In September 2010, industry-wide headcount had fallen to 246,400.

In 2007 alone, the Mortgage Employment Index fell by 87,131.

The decision to close Wells Fargo Financial Inc. as the lender closed its subprime origination business had a huge impact on third-quarter activity. Without the loss of those jobs, the Mortgage Employment Index would have recorded a gain.

More than a hundred layoffs were reported for First Mortgage Corp. and Wealthbridge Mortgage.

Net gains of more than 200 occurred at JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetLife Bank, and Neighborhood Assistance Corp.

According to the index, Maryland, Illinois, and Oregon had the biggest net losses in the third quarter, while more layoffs occurred in California than in any other state.

North Carolina saw a net gain of more than 500 jobs — better than any of its 49 counterparts. Hundreds of hirings also occurred in California and Texas during the third quarter of this year.

This article is from DSNews.com.

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