Employment by mortgage lenders grew for the third straight quarter despite the elimination of thousands of jobs at some of the nation’s largest lenders, according to the 2012 Mortgage Employment Index from Mortgage Daily.
From July 1 through Sept. 30, Mortgage Daily tracked 2,926 more hirings than layoffs in real estate finance. The net change in mortgage jobs improved from an increase of 1,335 jobs in the second quarter. Mortgage hirings have outpaced layoffs each quarter since the third-quarter 2011, when the index was up 2,738. Nearly half of the gain was attributable to hirings in Michigan.
So far this year, mortgage-related firms have recruited 7,230 more people than they have laid off. The latest index reflected 5,785 third-quarter layoffs, more than the 4,245 mortgage layoffs tracked in the second quarter. But hirings more than offset layoffs, rising to 8,711 from the prior period's 5,580.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that total mortgage industry staffing was 285,000 in September, growing from 276,300 in June. In Michigan, mortgage jobs grew by 1,442 positions during the third quarter -- better than any other state. There were no layoffs tracked in Michigan. Iowa saw an increase of 1,229 positions, reflecting just 41 layoffs and 1,270 hirings. The third-best performing state was Texas, where mortgage employment expanded by 609 jobs. Texas had 111 layoffs and 720 hirings.
Third-quarter numbers might have been stronger if it weren't for states like California, where layoffs exceeded hirings by 528 jobs; Nebraska, which lost 450 mortgage employees; and Indiana, which saw its net drop by 400 positions.
With a net staffing gain of 2,500, Quicken Loans Inc. was the biggest contributor to the third-quarter numbers. Many of Quicken's hirings were in Detroit, helping Michigan's standing. Quicken ranked as the fifth-biggest residential lender in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Co. was next with a headcount gain of 2,043. The nation's biggest lender laid off 501 people but had 2,544 hirings.
Nationstar Mortgage LLC had a net gain of 600 jobs -- landing it in the No. 3 position. At JPMorgan Chase & Co., mortgage staffing was reduced by 2,123 jobs in the three months ended Sept. 30 -- the worst performance of any lender. The total at Chase, which ranked as the third quarter's No. 2 home-loan provider, reflected 2,456 layoffs and 333 hirings.
Aurora Bank, which previously sold its servicing portfolio to Nationstar, eliminated 922 positions. Bank of America Corp. had the third-worst record, with headcount tumbling by around 700 jobs. BofA was No. 4 in Mortgage Daily's mortgage lender ranking.