Jobs in the mortgage industry increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Mortgage Daily’s Mortgage Employment Index.

The online mortgage industry news and statistics provider analyzed U.S. Department of Labor data and origination market share data and found that an estimated 577,800 people were employed in the mortgage industry at the end of last year, an increase over an estimated 567,500 jobs in the third quarter of 2014.

But those numbers are still down from the 650,600 head count estimated at the end of 2013, according to the index.

Nonbank lenders were responsible for many of the hirings, which occurred “under the radar,” according to the index. Had data from smaller firms been available, there may have been a net gain in jobs reflected in the fourth quarter, Mortgage Daily noted.

The index counted 2,952 hirings during the fourth quarter, and a total of approximately 288,100 jobs at nonbank lenders, 228,200 jobs at banks and 61,400 jobs at credit unions.

Quicken was by far the biggest recruiter in the industry during the fourth quarter, hiring 1,000 people, followed by Guild Mortgage (375), Fairway Independent (341), Freedom Mortgage (240) and PennyMac (200). Michigan saw the biggest gains of any state, followed by Wisconsin, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Iowa.

The index also tracked 6,651 mortgage layoffs during the quarter and 28,337 job losses for the entire year. In contrast, the index counted a net outflow of 31,931 jobs in 2013.

Large banks suffered the biggest losses. Citi was the biggest loser, with 2,000 job losses, followed by Bank of America (1,816), Chase (1,500), Altisource (600) and Digital Risk (150). Missouri had the highest job losses of any state, followed by California, Texas, South Carolina and Maryland.

Data used in the analysis was compiled from lender surveys, state employment agency filings and publicly reported data.

Email Amy Swinderman.

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