If you thought things were bad in the Australian mortgage industry, spare a thought for your counterparts in the US.
Twenty-two thousand mortgage employees were fired in the fourth quarter of 2013, the most in six years, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
There were 3,000 new jobs added in the industry during the quarter, resulting in a net loss of 19,000 jobs, the Times reported. California saw the biggest losses, with nearly 3,000 more firings than hirings.
For all of 2013, mortgage employment was slashed by 31,931 employees – the most since 2008.
The nation’s biggest lenders were also the biggest firers last year; Wells Fargo gave more than 6,000 employees their walking papers, while Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase handed out about 4,000 pink slips apiece, the Times reported.
Mortgage employees were under the gun all last year after rates jumped nearly a full percentage point. The rate spike strangled the refinance boom and big lenders – many of whom had hired extra employees to meet refi demand – suddenly saw their business dry up.