Statistics Show Slight Improvement in Employment—Maybe has learned from NationalMortgageNews refinancings have led mortgage companies to add 3,000 employees to their rosters since September. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says mortgage firms employed 265,000 full time personnel at year’s end, year-over-year employment at mortgage firms actually fell 5.4 percent last year. Of the 243,000 new jobs created in January 2012, 21,000 were in construction, a drop from the gain of 31,000 in November, according to the BLS. The unemployment rate dropped .02 percent from the month earlier to 8.3 percent, a total of 12.9 million people. This figure, however, does not include the 1.1 million discouraged  job-seekers who have all but given up looking; nor the 1.7 million who sought to join the work force during the past year, but not in the past four weeks. Sources tell the actual rate is closer to 11 percent. At the same time, government figures note spending is on the rise for single-family and multifamily residential construction. Fannie Mae’s “National Housing Survey” scheduled for release next week will show that consumer confidence is continuing to improve.

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