California News

Little Chill for Real Estate Hiring in Southern California – Orange County Register

Southern California real estate saw surprisingly strong hiring in February, with jobs added at about twice the pre-pandemic pace.

Despite a slump in home buying, bosses in real estate-related industries in the four counties employed 770,000 workers in February, up 12,900 for the month or a 1.7% increase. During the 2015-2019 pre-pandemic period, an average February saw the creation of 6,480 real estate jobs.

You can see the fallout from last year’s homebuying turmoil on local real estate jobs, which fell 3,100 year-over-year, down 0.4%. This is largely due to cuts by lenders. Rising mortgage rates have significantly slowed home purchases and other real estate transactions until very recently.

Real estate is part of a broader hiring drive in 2023. Bosses in all other Southern California industries counted 7.2 million workers in February, up 46,200 for the month, a gain 0.7% and 163,000 over 12 months, a gain of 2.3%.

By the edge

Here’s how the top real estate-related job niches in Southern California fared in February…

Construction: 365,200 workers in various trades – up 9,400 for the month and down 1,300 year-over-year, down 0.4%. An average February from 2015 to 2019 had 4,480 new construction jobs. Bad weather didn’t slow down hiring in the construction industry, as everyone from home builders to road crews needed to get projects done.

Real estate services: 138,900 people processing transactions – up 1,400 for the month and 1,400 for 12 months, a gain of 1%. The average month of February saw an increase of 660 jobs. The recent drop in mortgage rates has slightly increased the search for a home.

Building services: 108,700 jobs in commercial real estate, + 1,400 over the month and + 1,500 over 12 months, ie + 1.4%. The average month of February saw an increase of 600 jobs. Workers returning to offices increase the demand for that work.

Ready: 104,700 people in various credit works – up 500 for the month and 4,300 year-over-year, down 3.9%. In February, 100 jobs were added on average. This niche remains 10,300 jobs below pre-pandemic levels. The fall in interest rates slightly revived the granting of mortgage loans.

Construction materials: 52,500 equipment and materials sellers – up 200 for the month and down 400 year-over-year, a decrease of 0.8%. The average month of February saw an increase of 640 jobs. Home improvement projects have slowed.

Geographically speaking

In all three metropolitan areas, the real estate labor market seems stronger away from the coast.

Los Angeles County: 363,800 real estate jobs – up 7,200 for the month but down 2,700 year-over-year, a decline of 0.7%.

Orange County: 224,900 real estate jobs – up 2,600 for the month but down 1,300 year-over-year, down 0.6%.

Riverside and San Bernardino counties: 181,300 jobs in real estate – up 3,100 on the month and 900 year-on-year, a gain of 0.5%.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at

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