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 morning that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector rose to 246,700 in July, a gain of 1% from June. The bureau 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.

Friday's national job report was better than expected. BLS reported that private sector employment increased by 67,000 in August and July's hiring was revised upward to 107,000 from 71,000.

Mortgage bankers and housing economists look to the employment report in analyzing future delinquencies.

The August jobs report also showed increases in construction and commercial banking employment.

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