Mortgage Industry Hiring Slows in October









Hiring by nonbank mortgage lenders slowed in October after adding 2,900 new workers to their payrolls in the prior month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that independent mortgage bankers and brokers hired just 200 full-time employees in October. Yet it marks the sixth consecutive month that employment in the mortgage industry has increased, largely due to more consumer demand for loans.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported earlier this week that average production volume for an independent mortgage bank was $437 million in the third quarter, up 16% from the prior quarter.

Overall, employment in the nonbank mortgage banking/broker sector rose to 289,400 in October from 289,200 in September. (BLS revised the September number upward by 200 positions.)

Meanwhile, hiring by manufacturers, health care providers and retailers as well as by professional and business services companies was strong in November. The BLS report shows the U.S. economy created 321,000 new jobs, up from 243,000 in October, and much higher than Wall Street analysts expected.

Friday’s job report notes that the “job gains were widespread,” and confirms the findings of a Federal Reserve Board survey released earlier this week.

The Fed’s Beige Book said employment gains were “widespread across” the 12 Federal Reserve districts and there was also evidence of “upward wage pressures” for certain occupations and skilled workers. But overall, “price and wage inflation remained subdued,” the Fed concluded.

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

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