Hiring in real estate keeps pace with strong job growth

Market Trend

Hiring in real estate keeps pace with strong job growth

The real estate industry posted yet another strong month of hiring in April as national jobs numbers came in higher than expected.

Real estate employers — a category including brokerages, among other firms in the space — added 6,100 jobs last month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This 0.3 percent rate of growth matched that of the nation as a whole, where employers added 428,000 nonfarm jobs to their payrolls in the month of April.

The strong job market has continued to benefit demand for housing as well, as homebuyers have found themselves on increasingly solid financial footing, according to Mike Fratantoni, chief economist and senior vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Although mortgage rates have risen sharply, and home prices have continued to rise at a rapid pace, we expect that many potential homebuyers will continue to be in the market given their strong financial position,” Fratantoni said in a statement.

As the economy has continued to recover from the pandemic, it’s seen one of the strongest periods of job growth in the last half-century, Fratantoni added.

The report also contained good news for employees in homebuilding and other areas of residential construction. These companies added 3,500 seasonally adjusted jobs in April — a 0.4 percent increase from the previous month.

Residential trade contractor employment stayed roughly the same from month to month, with only 300 jobs added on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Even as residential construction companies added jobs, the annual wage growth of those workers slowed. Year-over-year hourly earnings for nonsupervisory employees in construction dropped from 6.1 percent in March to 5.3 percent in April.

One way to attract and retain workers in construction is to pay more, First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi said in a statement.

“Recall that construction quits rate surged in March to the highest rate since 2005,” Kushi said in the statement. "We need more hammers at work to build more homes, so higher quits is not good news for this labor-intensive industry.”

In the mortgage side of the industry, payroll news hasn’t been rosy. Prominent companies have laid off workers in recent weeks as mortgage rates rose and the demand for loans came down off mid-pandemic highs.

But the jobs report held hope for these recently laid-off mortgage employees as well, Fratantoni said.

“While employment in mortgage lending may be declining due to the sharp drop in refinance volume, overall employment in the financial sector is growing, which may well provide opportunities to shift employees from mortgage to other sectors within finance,” Fratantoni said.