SoCal Real Estate Jobs Up 3%, Biggest Jump Since 2017

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Despite high interest rates and general distress in some Southern California property markets, industry-wide job growth in the region nevertheless managed to reach a seven-year high, and finance lending employment survived with just a slight decrease.

By December, commercial real estate-related jobs had stretched to 803,800 in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, a 12-month gain of 24,300 positions, or 3.1 percent, according to reporting by Los Angeles Daily News, which cited data from California’s Employment Development Department. The bump represents the region’s largest real estate employment gain since 2017.

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A major force behind the job growth was the sheer amount of construction in the region, particularly large public infrastructure projects. And commercial real estate was not the only industry in Southern California that saw employment jumps — jobs in all other industries grew to 7.4 million in December, a 12-month gain of 141,200 jobs, or 2 percent, per Los Angeles Daily News

Inland Empire real estate jobs bore the most fruit last year in terms of percentage gain, with 191,800 jobs by December, a 12-month increase of 9,000, or 4.9 percent. Los Angeles County was the runner-up with 379,100 jobs, a 12-month gain of 10,600, or 2.9 percent, while Orange County had 232,900 jobs by December, equal to a 12-month gain of 4,700, or 2.1 percent. Property-related jobs accounted for 11.1 percent of all workers in the Inland Empire, 8 percent of workers in L.A. and 13.4 percent of workers in Orange County, according to the Daily News

Building services jobs in the region had the highest year-end percentage gain over other industry specialties, with 115,200 employed by commercial property operations by December, a 12-month gain of 6,400, or 5.9 percent. The increase of  trade construction specialists was hot on its heels, with 264,900 employed by contractors for a 14,100 gain, or 5.6 percent. “Building, civil and construction” trades were third with 124,200 workers for a 12-month increase of 5,000, or 4.2 percent. 

Other specialties actually lost a few jobs. There were 53,100 equipment and material sellers in December, 600 fewer than a year previously, a drop of 1.1 percent. Lending jobs fell to 102,700, a decrease of 400, or 0.4 percent, while real estate services jobs finished off the report with 143,700 workers in December, a drop of 200 jobs, or 0.1 percent. 

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