Mortgage companies added 2,300 full-time employees to their payrolls in July as refinancing applications swelled, compensating for a weak purchase money business.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector rose to 246,700 in July, a gain of 1% from June. The agency revised the June number upward by 400 workers. (The national mortgage employment numbers trail the overall by one month.)

During July refinancings accounted for about 78% of mortgage applications — the highest refinance share since the last refi boom in the spring of 2009, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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