SoCal Real Estate Jobs Grow Despite Economic Uncertainty

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A slew of new real estate jobs were added in Southern California last month, at a rate more than double that of seasonal hirings during pre-pandemic times, according to reporting by the OC Register, which cites data from California’s Employment Development Department.

More than 10,000 industry jobs — including lending, construction, and real estate services — were added in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties in October, to bring total regional industry employment to 805,200. From 2015 through 2019, an average of just 4,260 jobs were added in October — a 139 percent difference.

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Real estate work in the region grew by 16,300 jobs over the past 12 months, or a 2.1 percent gain, while non-real estate work over the same period grew by 118,100 jobs, or a 1.6 percent gain, per the OC Register. The boom comes despite high interest rates that make some development projects financially untenable. 

Real estate-related jobs accounted for 9.9 percent of all jobs in the region this October, while industry hirings equaled 10 percent of all new jobs for the month and 12.1 percent for the year. Since 2010, real estate-related occupations have accounted for 9.7 percent of all jobs in the region, and 12.7 percent of local hirings.

Los Angeles County reached a post-Great Recession high of 379,300 real estate jobs – up 3,300 for the month and up 6,700 over 12 months, or a 1.8 percent yearly gain. Real estate-related jobs accounted for 8.1 percent of all L.A. workers in October.

The Inland Empire also reached a post-Great Recession high with 194,100 real estate jobs on the books – up 4,100 for the month and 7,900 over last year for a 4.2 percent one-year gain. Real estate-related jobs accounted for 11.4 percent of all Inland Empire workers in October. Meanwhile, Orange County is home to 231,800 real estate jobs – up 2,800 for the month and up 1,700 compared to last year — while industry employment accounted for 13.3 percent of all Orange County workers in October. 

Trade construction specialists make up the largest chunk of real estate jobs in the region with a post-Great Recession high of 267,000 contractor jobs, which is up 5,200 for the month and up 8,300 over the past year for a 3.2 percent gain. Real estate services is the second-largest group with 141,500 jobs, which is up 800 for the month but down 300 over 12 months.

“Building, civil and construction” trades, as well as building services, are also both at post-Great Recession highs with 125,500 jobs in various trades and 115,900 jobs in building services. Finally, lending and finance account for 103,100 jobs – up 700 for the month and up 1,000 over 12 months. However, the employment total remains 15,400 jobs below pre-pandemic levels due to high interest rates.

Nick Trombola can be reached at NTrombola@commercialobserver.com.