Mortgage hirings outpace layoffs

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Hirings at U.S. mortgage firms outpaced layoffs by more than 8,000 during second quarter 2009.

While lenders laid off 3,229 employees between April 1 and June 30, second quarter layoffs were about 71 percent fewer than during the prior quarter, and 31 fewer than for the same period last year.

At the same time, mortgage hirings picked up, with lenders bringing on more than 11,000 new employees.

Hirings jumped from more than 8,800 during first quarter and “skyrocketed” from a meager 100 in the second-quarter 2008, said San Dallas-based MortgageDaily.com founder and publisher Sam Garcia.

The latest period reflected consolidation as a result of several high-profile mergers during the past year. Much of the layoff activity was concentrated at financial institutions.”North Carolina had over 700 mortgage-related layoffs – more than any other state.

By lender, JP Morgan Chase & Co. shed the most positions.

Reasons for the upswing in hiring were tied to both an increase in delinquency and loan modifications which, in turn, have forced mortgage companies to boost their servicing staffs. In addition, record low mortgage rates helped drive up demand for production personnel, Garcia said, adding that the report tracked companies of 50 or more employees.

New job statistics were strongest in Texas, where more than 1,100 mortgage jobs were added. JPMorgan, which added 4,000 new employees, far exceeded all other mortgage firms. The increased pace of hirings pushed overall activity to a positive 8,253 for the year.