Real estate jobs have rebounded across Southern California with the hottest hiring spree in seven years, despite sluggish home sales in the wake of higher interest rates.
Property-related work across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties rose 3.1 percent to 803,800 jobs in December compared to a year prior, the Orange County Register reported, citing state employment figures.
The 12-month gain of 24,300 jobs marks the biggest increase since 2017. Since the Great Recession, the average uptick is 16,600 new local jobs a year.
The jump in real estate jobs last year was attributed to a construction boom, including massive infrastructure projects, according to the Register. Many people who work in real estate are self-employed and aren’t included in traditional government job statistics.
Hiring across all sectors in the region rose 2 percent to 7.4 million workers, up 141,200 over 12 months ending in December.
Real estate’s share of local employment was 9.8 percent last month, but equaled 14.7 percent of all Southern California hires last year.
The building trades and commercial real estate added workers, while real estate services, lending and building supplies had a slight downturn in jobs.
Across the region, work for trade construction specialists rose 5.6 percent to 264,900 jobs; building services rose 5.9 percent to 115,200 jobs; and building, civil and construction rose 4.2 percent to 124,200 jobs.
Work in real estate services fell 0.1 percent to 143,700; lending fell 0.4 percent to 102,700 jobs; and building supplies fell 1.1 percent to 53,100 jobs.
Los Angeles County had the most real estate jobs last month with 379,100 workers, a one-year gain of 2.9 percent, followed by Orange County at 232,900 workers, a gain of 2.1 percent.
But Riverside County had the largest increase, with a one-year gain of 4.9 percent to 191,800 real estate jobs.
The overall boom in property-related jobs follows a downturn last spring, when slow home sales across Southern California led to the loss of 4,600 real estate jobs in March, and a 1.2 percent loss in jobs over the previous 12 months.
— Dana Bartholomew