Las Vegas' struggles of the past decade are all too visible

Even as a handful of major U.S. cities around the country have flourished in the 10 years since the Great Recession officially began in December 2007, other large cities have eked out only modest recoveries. Some are still straining to shed the scars of recession.

Las Vegas is one of them. Families in that metro area still earn nearly 20 percent less, adjusted for inflation, than they did in 2007.

In parts of the Las Vegas area, the struggles are all too visible. Half-finished housing developments, relics of the housing boom that preceded the recession, pockmark the surrounding desert. They symbolize the belief in endless economic possibility that seized the Las Vegas area in the early 2000's — and its unraveling in the years that followed.