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GlobeSt.com readers certainly think that the unemployment picture in the US mirrors the fate of the commercial real estate industry. In response to last week’s Quick Poll, an overwhelming 91% of voters said that unemployment numbers need to change before there is a rebound in the industry, while the other 9% said that changes in unemployment will have little impact. Tony Thompson, founder of Thompson National Properties, in Irvine, CA, agrees. He told GlobeSt.com that the two issues are intertwined.

“As Mark Twain said, ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.’ Yogi Berra said it best: ‘Déjà vu all over again.’ If this is a jobless recovery, then it may not be the kind of recovery we’re wanting and all hoping for. Job creation is the name of the game to heal the economy and fill up office buildings, retail spaces, apartments and distribution centers again.

There are certain parts of the country where unemployment is as good as its been in the last five years. Those are few and far between. If we’re right about the home-building industry, and the automotive industry — with GM just hiring 2,400 and homebuilders beginning to hire again — I don’t believe we’ll have a jobless recovery. We will begin to see by the first quarter of 2010 a positive increase in jobs again.

I’m not as pessimistic in some respects as others as far as the recovery. I am pessimistic in that we’re in for some pretty rough years in the commercial real estate space, and I’m excited to see how that plays out. We need to be patient.”

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