NEW YORK CITY—Whether you're comparing results a year ago or twoyears earlier, job opportunities in commercialreal estate experienced growth well into the double-digit rangeduring the third quarter. It was the industry's best summer everfor job postings, exceeding previous highs set in 2007, accordingto the Cornell/SelectLeaders Job Barometer, ajoint research effort between Cornell University'sBaker Program in Real Estate and the SelectLeaders RealEstate Job Network. GlobeSt.com's CareerCenter is powered by the SelectLeaders Real Estate JobNetwork.

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Q3 postings rose 23.3% year over year and 43.5% from the sameperiod in 2012. July also saw the third-highest single month totalso far this year, behind only the two previous months. “Thisis no small feat, considering that the number of jobs posted inJune was the highest it has been since the Job Barometer begantracking these numbers in 2006,” says SusanPhillips, CEO of SelectLeaders.

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In the view of David Funk, director of theBaker Program, “Commercial real estate is clearly now a seller'smarket for talent. We've witnessed a significant fall in the ratioof job seekers to position openings, and not surprisinglycompensation is starting to move accordingly.”

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Although opportunities are at an all-time high, the pool of jobapplicants is not, with a sizable number numbers of professionalsleaving the industry amid the 2008 downturn and a depleted pipelineof professionals entering from US graduate schools. “The averagenumber of applications per job has declined by about 30% from 2009to 2014,” says Funk.

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However, the drop in the number of average applicants is due notto a lack of interest, but rather to a surge in the number ofavailable jobs. Year to date through August, jobopportunities were up by 26.28% over 2013, and 58.05% over '12.

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There's another limiting factor at work here, and it's theincreasingly broad skill set that would-be employers are callingfor. “There is a clear increase in the variety of specialskillsets real estate employers are seeking in commercial realestate, which is reflective of an industry adding complexity,particularly in its technology requirements,” says Funk.

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Certain skills are becoming increasingly common jobrequirements, according to an analysis of data from jobs posted toSelectLeaders. Familiarity with a variety of software products ismuch more in demand now than it was even a few years ago. Otherareas of expertise that were found to be more prevalent in jobpostings included accounting principles, knowledge of zoning andfamiliarity with low income housing tax credits.

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Although remarkable for the number of opportunities that werepresented, summer's surge in employment opportunities appears toportend a sustained uptick in hiring. “Institutional allocations toreal estate are expected to again go up 49 basis points this year,international capital continues to target US real estate and $2.5trillion sits in money market funds,” Funk observes.

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Accordingly, says Funk, capital flows into real estate shouldsustain the employment picture despite interest rate and valuationconcerns. The latest Cornell/SelectLeaders Job Barometer Reportprovides further analysis of the current outlook, and is availableon GlobeSt.com by clicking here.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.