This Labor Day, Consider The Impact Of Real Estate Professionals On Jobs And The Economy

For this Labor Day, one might reflect on how brokers and agents in the real estate business have a major impact on jobs and the US economy in general.

Traditionally when you think of the American labor force you typically see images of factory workers or construction workers or maybe even restaurant workers.

But what about real estate brokers and agents?

As we can see by the real estate data, this is a BIG industry. That generates quite a few jobs.

Number of home sales and their impact

Look at these numbers from the National Associaton of Realtors:

  • As of July 2019, there were 1.38 million NAR members
  • It is estimated there are two million active real estate licenses in the US
  • They work for 86,004 real estate brokerage firms
  • Those professionals sold 5.34 million existing homes in 2018.
  • There are about 121 million total occupied housing units in the US.

Now, let’s talk about the impact.

First of all, two million people are directly involved in the selling of homes and other properties. That’s a big labor force.

Secondly, being responsible for the sale of 5.5 million homes in one year is a major accomplishment.

Think about the rippling effect of those sales.

All those sales mean billions of dollars in transactions.

Those transactions have many side effects besides just putting a family into a house.

For example, look at all the parties involved and how those sales support so many occupations.

Besides the brokers and agents, you have a support staff that works at those realty firms.

Then the bankers and mortgage brokers that fund the sale. Don’t forget the credit companies either. Or the property appraisers,

Prior to a sale, you have contractors, landscapers, repair people, painters and home stagers helping to get a property in saleable shape.

Once a deal is made, then the home inspectors, title companies and movers get involved.

Think about the money spent after a home is acquired. Again, putting contractors and painters to work.

There’s the impact of dollars spent on new appliances and furniture. Think of all the retail employees and factory workers impacted by those expenditures.

Then you have all the ancillary companies and their employees that are involved in real estate.

For example, technology companies like this one, Home Junction Inc., which provides property data, WordPress real estate themed websites, WordPress plugins, MLS APIs and other services for real estate companies.

Heck, there’s even a rise now in the demand for drone pilots.

All this activity adds up. Creates a large number of paychecks.

And it all starts with a broker or agent.

Profile of real estate agents

Here are a few statistics about those real estate professionals:

According to, 68% of Realtors are female. The average Realtor is a 54-year old female who attended college and is a homeowner.

Most work about 35 hours per week on average.

The medium gross income of Realtors is $41,800 in 2018. In 2017 it was $39,800.

About 87% are independent contractors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has developed different numbers, based on ALL real estate professionals. They are working from a broader real estate segment than just NAR members.

Their data shows 1.56 million in the real estate workforce with 1.1 million females and 1.13 million males.

They cite the average wage at $61,081.

And they project a growth rate of 2.17%.

What all this data shows is that this is certainly a group that works hard for their money.

The actions of brokers and agents certainly have a major impact throughout many diverse parts of the economy.

As that famous quote by Elliott Burdett goes, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.”

This Labor Day, it’s certainly worth noting that real estate professionals are one group that continually makes something happen in the US economy and support quite a few workers and their families.