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As the nation’s economy was still reeling from the body blow of the Great Recession, Seattle’s was about to take off.

In 2010, Amazon opened a headquarters in the little-known South Lake Union district — and then expanded eight-fold over the next seven years to fill 36 buildings. Everywhere you look, there are signs of a thriving city: Building cranes looming over streets, hotels crammed with business travelers, tony restaurants filled with diners.

Seattle is among a fistful of cities that have flourished in the 10 years since the Great Recession officially began in December 2007, even while most other large cities — and sizable swaths of rural America — have managed only modest recoveries. Some cities are still struggling to shed the scars of recession.

In Las Vegas, half-finished housing developments, relics of the housing boom, pockmark the surrounding desert. Families there earn nearly 20 percent less, adjusted for inflation, than in 2007.

Decade since recession: Thriving cities leave others behind

As the nation’s economy was still reeling from the body blow of the Great Recession, Seattle’s was about to take off. In 2010, Amazon opened a headquarters in the little-k


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