The relative strength or weakness of Nevada’s economy is largely in the eye of the beholder. There are businesses reporting record profits in 2011, while others struggle just to keep the doors open. There are economic indicators that point to population, employment, income and spending growth, at the same time the state continues to rank at or near the nation’s highest in terms of unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Mixed signals are a tell-tale sign of an econ­omy actively seeking to redefine itself; however, the most visible sign of the recent economic cri­sis remains the troubled housing market. Nevada has lost well in excess of $100 billion in home eq­uity from peak to present, and all but a handful of homeowners are deeply upside down on their home mortgage or have recently gone through a foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale. Stabilizing the housing market may very well be the most crit­ical element in Nevada’s economic recovery.

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