As Southern California real estate cools, so does the industry’s hiring – Daily News

on Sep3
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Southern California’s real estate weakness is showing up in a slower hiring pace.

My trusty spreadsheet, looking at state jobs data, found 810,500 workers in July at property-related companies in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. But only 2,400 positions were added for the month, almost all of that in the Inland Empire. In pre-pandemic 2015-19, an average 6,800 real estate jobs were added in July.

Ponder the business backdrop for a real estate employer. Soaring interest rates have slowed the buying and selling of all sorts of real estate. Working from home has hurt the office market, and real estate bosses who do need more staffing are fighting for workers in a tight job market.

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Let’s note that many who toil in real estate are self-employed and not tracked by government job stats. The sharp slowdown in home sales certainly hurts that group, too.

Still, look at the property game’s slowdown this way and, remember, real estate’s share of local official employment was 10% in July.

Consider that across Southern California, all other industries had 7.2 million workers. That count was off 46,600 jobs in a month – largely due to a seasonal drop in teachers going on summer break.

Real estate work grew locally by 7,000 positions over 12 months, a 0.9% gain. But at the same time, Southern California’s non-real estate jobs were up 163,400 over 12 months for a 2.3% gain.

To date, real estate’s jobs chill is subpar growth.

By property’s niches

When you peek inside Southern California’s real estate-related employment niches, construction is the star as the region rushes to add housing supply and fix bumpy roads.

The 383,200 workers doing various trades in July were up 3,500 for the month. However, that’s a tad slow as the average hiring pace in July between 2015-19 saw an average 4,800 increase for construction.

And construction work is up 5,900 jobs over 12 months. That 1.6% gain equals most of all property-related hiring.

Elsewhere, it’s not pretty …

Lending: Rising interest rates hurt big-time. The 177,900 folks in various credit work are down 300 for the month but up 600 over 12 months, or a 0.3% gain. But an average July had 820 jobs added. And this niche remains 12,800 jobs below pre-pandemic levels, which Southern California topped back in October 2022.

Real estate services: 77,100 people handled transactions – up 300 for the month and up 300 over 12 months, or a 0.4% gain. The average July had a 620 job increase.

Building supplies: 53,300 folks sold goods and equipment for property – off 300 for the month and off 900 over 12 months, or a 1.7% drop. Average July had 140 job loss.

Building services: 119,000 employees were on the jobs at commercial property operations – off 800 for the month and up 1,100 over 12 months, or a 0.9% gain. Average July had 680 job increase.

Geographically speaking

Here’s the breakdown, by metro area …

Los Angeles County: 388,700 real estate jobs – up 200 for the month and off 2,400 over 12 months, or a 0.6% one-year drop. An average July in 2015-19 had 3,000 hires. Property jobs equaled 8.4% of all LA workers last month.

Orange County: 231,800 real estate jobs – off 200 for the month and up 3,800 over 12 months, or a 1.7% one-year gain. An average July in 2015-19 had 2,200 hires. Property jobs equal 13.6% of all OC workers last month.

Inland Empire: 190,000 real estate jobs – up 2,400 for the month and up 5,600 over 12 months, or a 3% one-year gain. An average July in 2015-19 had 1,600 hires. Property jobs equal 11.4% of all Inland workers last month.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at jlansner@scng.com



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