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White-collar employment growth through the first six months of 2005 can be described as disappointing and volatile at best. While January and March job gains were unimpressive, both under 124,000, February posted a high of 300,000 job gains. While April exceeded expectations, posting employment increases of 274,000, disappointment set it again in May but increased again in June to 166,000. Despite this volatility, the unemployment rate stands currently at 5%, the lowest rate recorded since September 2001.

While job growth during the first quarter fell short of expectations, the commercial real estate market still benefited from the limited growth. First-quarter leasing activity pushed 2005 into high gear, setting lofty expectations for the quarter to follow. Overall leasing activity totaled 57.9 million sf through March, 3.3 million sf more than the previous year. In CBDs alone, leasing activity increased to 25.6 million sf from 19 million feet the year prior. While these gains were promising, the threat of job loss remained.

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