The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning that employment in the mortgage banking and brokerage sector rose to 295,800 in June from 293,100 in May on a nonadjusted basis.
Mortgage rates jumped from 3.6% in early May to 4.8% in early June, which resulted in a drop in mortgage applications, particularly refinancings.
However, lenders were under a lot of pressure to process applications for borrowers that had locked-in at lower rates, which could explain the uptick in hiring.
Lenders told the Mortgage Bankers Association that pull-though rates jumped as a result of the spike in mortgage rates. Loan applicants were doing whatever they could to protect their locked-in rates, the MBA said.
Overall, Friday’s jobs report shows employment in the mortgage sector is up 8.6% from June 2012.
Meanwhile, the U.S. economy created 162,000 jobs in July, compared to 188,000 in June. The June figure was revised down by 7,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was 7.4% at the end of July.
BLS also reported that multifamily and single-family builders and contractors hired 6,300 new construction workers in July, up from 5,200 in June.
(There is a one-month lag in the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting of mortgage employment data.)