Mortgage-related firings totaled nearly 22,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013, the highest level in six years, according to a tally by Mortgage Daily.

The trade publication reported Monday that it counted about 3,000 new jobs added to the home lending industry during the quarter, resulting in a net loss of 19,000 jobs.

It said that for all of 2013, mortgage staffing declined by 31,931 employees -- the worst year since 2008.

California experienced nearly 3,000 more firings than hirings in the fourth quarter -- a bigger loss than any other state.

The nation's Top 3 mortgage lenders swung the biggest axes during the quarter: Wells Fargo slashed more than 6,000 jobs, Bank of America 4,000, and JPMorgan Chase nearly 4,000, Mortgage Daily said.

When interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages jumped by about a percentage point last year, a refinancing boom came to an end and the home lending business became smaller and more focused on purchase loans.

The pace of layoffs has slowed this quarter, the trade publication said.