Job opportunities in U.S. commercial real estate are at an eight-year peak, but early warning signs are cautioning that a potentially abrupt pullback is around the corner. While 2015 witnessed the largest number of overall U.S. jobs in history, commercial real estate jobs largely mirrored the roller coaster jobs ride from the highs of late 2007, depths of 2009, and full cycle rebound by 2015. This data is from the latest Job Barometer published by SelectLeaders.
“The consistent growth in commercial real estate job opportunities since 2009 is impressive and new entrants as well as seasoned professionals have found a receptive job market through the start of 2016,” said David Funk, managing editor for the SelectLeaders Job Barometer, adding, “but some of our leading indicator analyses are flashing red that a slowdown in commercial real estate hiring is imminent – how severe will be the question.”
Commercial real estate tends to be out ahead of the overall job market, and SelectLeaders data indicates real estate firms will tap the brakes on eight years of aggressive hiring expansion in reaction to the volatility in the stock market and global “wild cards,” with the expectation that a correction will ward off a recession.
Commercial real estate job postings and other data tracked by the SelectLeaders Job Barometer have proven to be a reliable leading indicator of the overall job market as well as exhibit more immediate sensitivity to market conditions. The Job Barometer experienced a steep fall in commercial real estate job opportunities through the spring and summer of 2007, and anticipated the global financial crisis six months in advance.
Download the full Job Barometer report.
January 2016 Best Ever for Real Estate Job Opportunities
January 2016 represented the best January on record for overall commercial real estate postings with the number of postings in January 2016 up 6.1 percent over opportunities listed in January 2015. However, the 2016 SelectLeaders Network Hiring Trends survey found 69 percent of hiring decision-makers planning to stay the same or reduce their hiring in the coming year. More troubling are the cautionary comments: “We are in the 9th inning;” “Everything is increasingly fragile;” and “Uncertainty and volatility are the watchwords.”
Most Opportunities by Location
California led among states with 25 percent of all commercial real estate job postings in 2015. New York followed with 18.5 percent of all postings while Texas held down third place with 9.1 percent.
About the SelectLeaders Job Barometer: The SelectLeaders Job Barometer, published since 2006, is the foremost survey of employment opportunities, trends, and hiring practices in the commercial real estate industry. SelectLeaders powers the Career Centers for 12 premier real estate industry associations, including NAIOP.
Susan M. Phillips is the CEO of SelectLeaders, LLC, which powers the career centers for 12 premier real estate industry associations (whose members control or direct 90 percent of commercial real estate) and offers unequalled access to the real estate community.