April 03, 2003
The real estate industry added 28,000 jobs in 2002, a gain of 1.8 percent. This increase reflected rising sales of both new and existing homes.
Low mortgage rates, coupled with real earnings growth, boosted housing affordability and the demand for housing. Housing starts reached their highest level in more than 15 years. Minimal inflation and appreciating home sales prices (up 7.1 percent over the year) also may have inspired some investors to transfer funds from Wall Street to real estate.
Overall, employment in finance, insurance, and real estate increased 0.8 percent in 2002. Employment in finance was up by 1.0 percent, while jobs in insurance decreased by 0.1 percent.
These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program. For more information on labor market trends in 2002, see "U.S. labor market in 2002: continued weakness," by Terence M. McMenamin, Rachel Krantz, and Thomas J. Krolik, Monthly Labor Review, February 2003.