SoCal Real Estate Job Numbers Lag Yearly Averages

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Real estate jobs in Southern California continue to fall short of their pre-pandemic numbers. 

In April, the number of filled industry roles — meaning, property-related jobs — in Southern California hovered 97 percent below the 2015-to-2019 average, the O.C. Register first reported, citing state employment data. Throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, real estate comprised 9.7 percent of local jobs last month. For comparison, real estate’s share of the job market in April in those counties has averaged 10.6 percent since 2010. 

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This trend, however, isn’t unique to this spring. Rather, it demonstrates a longer-term trajectory for the region: Thanks in part to high mortgage rates, SoCal has consistently endured monthly averages lower than years prior.

Take this March, for example, during which the number of real estate jobs in Southern California dropped 36 percent from the seasonal average. Within the last year, real estate jobs fell by 0.2 percent, or nearly 2,000 positions, per The Real Deal.

Yet, while the job numbers in the industry don’t quite reach the levels of the 2010s, April marked a general improvement from previous months this year. The number of Southern California real estate jobs jumped by 200 from March to April, rounding off at 773,600. (For context, more than 7,000 jobs were added on average in April from 2015 to 2019.) 

Reflected within those numbers, some sectors of real estate — as well as Southern California — fared better than others. The number of jobs in the industry rose monthly in Los Angeles County, but dropped in Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Meanwhile, options in specialist trade construction, as well as building, civil engineering and construction, declined in April, while the number of roles in lending, real estate services, building supplies and building services all increased on average.

Although Southern California real estate has been hit hard post-pandemic, patterns of industry hiring reflect wider employment trends across the state. Job growth in California has trailed the country all year, The Los Angeles Times reported in March, pointing to a further need for federal interest rate cuts. Overall hiring numbers across industries in California likewise remain lower than yearly averages. 

In Southern California, however, employment in industries other than real estate increased in April by nearly 23,000 jobs, according to the O.C. Register, while the year-over-year increase was 1.1 percent, or 76,300 positions, per the The Real Deal.

Anna Staropoli can be reached at astaropoli@commercialobserver.com