Real estate hiring in Southern California shows strength in May

Construction workers, realtors

 Southern California’s real estate job market rallied in May.

The region’s real estate employment, ranging from agents to construction workers, grew by 6,200 jobs in May, which is 77 percent faster than the norm for the region, according to Jonathan Lasner, a veteran business columnist for the Orange County Register. His research found that an average of industry 3,500 jobs were added in May from 2015 to 2019.

Real estate employment in the region totaled 802,700, according to data from the California Employment Development Department.

Construction saw the biggest growth in jobs, with 5,200 new hires. In the SoCal region, 373,300 people worked in construction in May. Another 900 jobs were added in building services, and 400 in building materials. About 300 jobs came from real estate services dealing with transactions. Other sectors lost jobs, including real estate lending.

Geographically, big gains took place in Orange County. About 2,200 real estate jobs were added in May, compared to an average of 1,260 in past May months. There was another big boost in the Inland Empire, where about 4,100 real estate-related jobs were added in the month.

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In Los Angeles County, real estate work declined. There was a 0.8 percent drop, or 3,200 jobs, in a year-over-year comparison in total Los Angeles County employment. During May, the industry lost 100 jobs in L.A. County, where 385,300 people work in real estate.

The real estate lending sector remains weak. In the region, real estate finance accounts for 177,400 jobs, or 13,300 fewer jobs than before the pandemic. The sector lost 600 jobs in May, and 1,200 in the last year.

Lasner considered the job growth to be a case of the real estate business catching up after project delays caused by a wet winter and spring. Her also noted interest rate hikes played a hand in sluggish real estate job growth in the past year.

Andrew Asch

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