Thursday, September 21, 2006

Real Estate Workers Singing The Blues

After a five-year boom of unprecedented proportions sent workers flocking to the housing professions, the industry slowdown is seeing more and more mortgage lenders and property agents dropping out of the business--of their accord as well as via corporate payroll cuts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that realty and mortgage jobs topped out at 504,800 in February, falling to 503,100 by June. Chicago-based consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas, meanwhile, calculates that layoff announcements in the real estate industry hit 3,033 in the first eight months of the year--up a staggering 96 percent from the corresponding period in 2005. Mortgage companies announced 8,513 layoffs over the same time frame, up 70 percent year-over-year. "There will be some decline in employment," concedes Mortgage Bankers Association senior economist Mike Fratantoni, "but it is not going to be the 18-percent decline we're seeing in originations."

Check out the story on Reuters

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