In a sit-down with Early Show anchor Harry Smith Friday, Trump likened the nation's current economic situation to the Great Depression and predicted the unemployment rate will top reach double digits.
"I think it will go over 10 percent eventually," Trump said. "That's very high. If you lose half a million jobs in like a month, it's unheard of."
But Trump does see the country digging out … eventually.
"It's going to work out. It's a question of when. How much pain will we have to endure."
On the housing crisis, Trump isn't completely on board with President Barack Obama's $75 billion plan to prop up struggling homeowners, saying it rewards people who made bad financial decisions and bought houses they couldn't afford.
"The biggest problem I have with the housing situation … is that people that have done a great job in controlling their lives, those people don't get helped."
But he does see the logic in trying to stem foreclosures in order to keep home prices stable for those that have acted responsibly.
"Well, that's the line of reasoning that they're using. And you know what? It's acceptable. Look, people made a mistake. They were, in some cases, defrauded. In some cases they defrauded themselves."
Amid the financial uncertainty, Trump sees buying opportunities. He told Smith that he's gobbling up property while prices are low, including 800 acres near Washington, D.C. that he's had his eye on for years.