NEW YORK CITY-With reports of more than 200,000 new employees being taken off the unemployment roster and added to payrolls, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the real estate section is no exception to that position. And if the jobs are not forthcoming, interest in them certainly is on the upswing.

While traditionally, the real estate sector is a “lagging indicator,” Dale Anne Reiss, global and Americas director of real estate, hospitality and construction at Ernst & Young, points out, “hiring has picked up because activity has picked up. Buildings are being sold–there’s more transactional activity.” She says an increase in the number of jobs in the consulting services and the audit and tax field are signs of the resurgence in the economy.

Ed Friedman, executive vice president for Newmark Co.‘s broker advisory services group, tells that the firm has experienced a “flood” of job applicants in recent history. “Real estate has always been seen as a steady employer. They see it as a career that makes a lot of sense.” Those applicants are not just coming from the traditional real estate programs and he believes they want to be integrated into the community they live in. “We don’t have to tell them to get involved. They’ve been active in fraternities, college sports or fundraising.” Friedman says the industry will “always have an appetite for bright, aggressive people who speak well and present well.”

However, Craig Thomas, director at Torto Wheaton research, points out that the uptick in the real estate services sector is “almost entirely confined to the residential market.” And he believes as interest rates rise, the single-family market will slow and jobs will dry up. “We’re seeing the last gasp of the single-family market.”

On the upside, construction and leasing are seeing some recovery, he reports, but not enough yet to support significant hiring. And in geographical terms, he anticipates a quicker turnaround in areas with technology bases as opposed to goods-producing areas. “Austin is picking up speed,” he notes. Other strong areas include service producing areas in the South, Washington, DC and potentially technology-heavy areas such as the West Coast and Boston.

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