Mortgage companies added 2,800 full-time employees to their payrolls in March after hiring 2,700 in February, according to government figures released Friday morning.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment in the mortgage banking and brokerage sector rose to 267,600 full-time positions in March from 264,800 in February as refinancings continued to bolster originations. (The mortgage figures lag the national numbers by one month.)
Overall, employment in the mortgage industry is down less than 2% from a year ago.
Over the past few months some firms such as Residential Capital Corp./GMAC have cut workers while others (EverBank, PennyMac) have added staffers.
On Friday, the BLS reported the economy created 115,000 new jobs in April—less than the 160,000 Wall Street analysts were expecting.
Employment in the construction trades was unchanged from March to April.
But there was some good news: the BLS revised the number of new hires in March upward by 34,000 to 154,000. And the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1% in April from 8.2% in March.