Real estate-related hiring spikes across Southern California

Employers in four counties add 5,600 jobs, 39% faster than seasonal norm

Real Estate-Related Hiring Spikes Across Southern California
(Illustration by Priya Modi for The Real Deal with Getty)

Wanted: workers across Southern California that can help build and sell real estate.

Employers across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties added 5,600 jobs tied to the real estate industry in May to 837,800 — at a 39 percent faster rate than the seasonal norm, the Orange County Register reported, citing state employment figures.

In the five years before the pandemic, the average hires in May came to 4,019 jobs.

Long-term, however, the real estate job sector seems glacial.

A year ago from May, real estate work grew locally by 5,900 jobs, a 0.7 percent increase, compared to a 12-month hiring pace averaging 14,300 since the Great Recession. That’s 59 percent less, according to the Register.

The real estate industry’s local job count stands 13,000 below its post-2009 employment peak in July 2022, when the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates to curb inflation.

Other industries across Southern California had 7.15 million workers in May – up 14,200 jobs in a month. Over 12 months, non-real estate jobs are up 57,200 over 12 months, or a 0.8 percent gain.

In May, the real estate’s job market was 10.5 percent of all local workers, while the industry’s hiring came to 28 percent of all new hires for the month, 9.4 percent for the year and 11.7 percent since 2010 and the end of the Great Recession, according to the Register.

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A month earlier, the newspaper reported that hiring for real estate jobs in Southern California had stalled at the start of the spring sales season.

Property-linked employment in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties was 773,600 in April — up 200 for the month. And 97 percent below the April average between 2015 and 2019.

The Register blamed rising mortgage rates, which have slowed new construction and the pace of real estate deals. Many people who work in real estate are self-employed and not tracked by traditional government job counts.

It’s not clear what precipitated the spring turnaround.

For the month of May: 

  • Local work in specialist trade construction rose by 2,300 jobs to 251,600;
  • Work in building, civil engineering and construction rose by 600 jobs to 121,500 workers;
  • Work in lending rose by 100 jobs to 88,300 workers;
  • Real estate services work rose by 500 jobs to 138,700 workers;
  • Employment in building supplies rose by 800 jobs to 126,600 workers;
  • Work in building services rose by 1,300 jobs to 111,100 workers.

— Dana Bartholomew

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