Employment in the mortgage industry has risen for the past three quarters, a new report said Monday.
The first quarter of 2012 ended with a net gain of 2,146 jobs, with 3,881 layoffs and 6,027 hirings, according to the First-Quarter 2012 Mortgage Employment Index from Mortgage Daily.
That compares with a net loss of more than 1,800 jobs in the first quarter of 2011, the news service said.
The fourth quarter of 2011, meanwhile, saw a net gain of 3,851 jobs, with 2,349 layoffs and 6,200 hirings, Mortgage Daily said.
MetLife Home Loans shut down during the first quarter and too with it 2,007 jobs, while the biggest recruiters were JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Quicken Loans LLC, the news service said.
Mortgage Daily also said that Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, a distressed loan servicer, added approximately 660 jobs.
Hirings fell 3% from fourth quarter 2011 to first quarter 2012 but more than doubled over the first quarter of 2011.
U.S. Department of Labor figures show that 267,300 people were working in the mortgage industry as of March 31 compared with 265,300 at the end of 2011.
"Loan delinquency and foreclosures have recently been on the decline, which will likely lead to leaner staffs at mortgage servicers," said Sam Garcia, Mortgage Daily founder and publisher.
"But the expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program is driving up refinance demand and the need for production staffing – especially in states with deeply underwater borrowers," Garcia said.