Following three years of job losses when more than 100,000 positions were eliminated, mortgage employment expanded last year, according to the MortgageDaily.com Fourth-Quarter 2009 Mortgage Employment Index. During 2009, net mortgage employment increased by 8,321 jobs, based on the index--which reflects mortgage-related hirings and layoffs tracked by MortgageDaily.com. Last year was a vast improvement from 2008 and 2007.
Hirings during 2009 were 30,899, outpacing 22,578 U.S. layoffs. Mortgage hirings were strongest last year in Texas, where lenders added 1,722 jobs. U.S. layoffs amounted to 22,578 in 2009. In Illinois, 2,797 layoffs occurred--higher than any other state.
The biggest net increase--factoring in both hirings and layoffs--was in Texas, where mortgage employment expanded by 1,600. But the biggest decline was in Illinois, where jobs in real estate finance contracted by 2,392. Florida and Washington also had job losses in excess of 1,000.
Looking at just the fourth quarter, 2,995 U.S. layoffs were exceeded by 5,849 mortgage hirings -- leaving the fourth-quarter net up by 2,854. The latest quarterly activity was substantially better than the prior quarter and year.
Fourth-quarter hirings were strongest in California at 1,300. New York's 600 layoffs were more than any other state. California's strong level of hirings pushed the state's quarterly net employment up by 987 jobs--again, more than any other state. But Iowa wasn't far behind. New York's net contraction of 500 positions during the fourth quarter was the worst performance of any state.
By company, Bank of America Corp.'s 2,500 fourth-quarter hirings were more than any other U.S. lender. Wells Fargo & Co. wasn't far behind. The closure of Lend America represented the biggest number of fourth-quarter layoffs.