Even ultra-low interest rates didn’t save the mortgage industry from trimming jobs in April. 

Employment in the residential finance sector fell to 266,100 full-time positions in April from 267,600 in March, a difference of about 1,500 jobs, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Residential production was strong in the first quarter with mortgage bankers and brokers originating $440 billion of new loans, and hiring loan new officers and underwriters to handle the increased workload. But in April applications began to slow somewhat.

A decline in lending activity showed up in recent reports by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Still, despite the weaker mortgage job numbers, mortgage brokerage firms added 2,300 loan officers and other staff to their payrolls in April.

Meanwhile, Friday’s dismissal employment report showed the U.S. economy created only 69,000 jobs in May. (The mortgage figures lag the national numbers by one month.)

The nation’s previous employment report, which initially found that 115,000 new jobs were created in April, was revised downward to job gains of 77,000.

The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.2% in May from 8.1% in April.

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