Mortgage industry cuts 2K jobs in first 6 mos.

August 29, 2011 12:43 PM

More than 2,200 mortgage-related jobs have been lost through the first half of the year, according to’s second quarter Mortgage Employment Index released today. In the second quarter there were 4,940 hires and 5,404 layoffs, for a net of 464 lost jobs. That’s a marked improvement over the 1,805 jobs lost in the first quarter of 2011, but far worse than the 740 jobs gained during the second quarter of 2010. As of June there were 239,100 mortgage jobs in the U.S., according to a separate Department of Labor report.

Wells Fargo was responsible for 2,500 of the layoffs, according to the report, as it closed its reverse mortgage business and made cuts in its mortgage fulfillment division. Bank of America also made massive staffing slashes, laying off 954 mortgage workers. JPMorgan Chase made 2,585 mortgage-related job hires in the second quarter, largely in Ohio, according to the report, which was the best state for mortgage hires in the second quarter, adding 800 such jobs. California, on the other hand, lost nearly 1,078 mortgage jobs, more than any other state.

Despite another dismal quarter, was cautiously optimistic that hiring would pick up for mortgage workers. As mortgage rates continue to plummet, the demand for refinancings, and, eventually, originations, could pick up, producing a need for more processors and underwriters. However, the report noted that so many large lenders cut jobs this year — so they may not move too quickly to rehire. –Adam Fusfeld

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