Mortgage Hiring Surges, But Layoffs Still Outnumber

May 4, 2009 No Comments »

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Mortgage hiring surged during the first quarter of the year thanks to the record low mortgage rates and subsequent refinance bonanza, but layoffs were still king.

Mortgage layoffs exceeded new hiring by 1,751 during the quarter, which was a sharp improvement from the net loss of 7,783 positions in the fourth quarter and 14,205 a year earlier, according to a analysis.

A total of 10,628 employees were let go during the quarter and 8,877 were brought on-board; the layoffs were dominated by HSBC, which unraveled its consumer finance operations.

By state, Illinois had the largest number of job cuts, followed by California and Florida, two of the notoriously hard-hit states that fueled much of the mortgage crisis.

The 8,877 new hires compared to just 925 in the fourth quarter and 1,199 a year ago; Wells Fargo and Bank of America seemed to have the busiest HR departments as a result.

Overall, however, mortgage employment has declined from 279,800 in December to 271,100 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And while more jobs are likely to be filled in coming week and months, as evidenced by the 43,000 open mortgage positions over at, many will likely be temporary or commission-based, which doesn’t really offset all the losses in the industry.

Whether it’s working for a loan modification company until that business run its course or handling fulfillment at Bank of America Home Loans for the remainder of the refinance boom, it’s not steady employment.

But at least there’s still a place out there to make a quick buck.

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