New Normal

Recovery Looks Like Recession

Across the country, the grim reality of the economic recovery is that it still looks like a recession to many people—from the Atlanta bankers whose massive office tower is one-fifth empty, to the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, real-estate agents who see 10 percent of homes selling for less than the owners owe lenders, to the Arizona subdivision residents who have to resort to soup kitchens. This “new normal” could last for years, The New York Times reports. Policymakers are now considering more extreme measures to deal with the worst recession since the Great Depression, one that has left a massive number of empty homes and offices. If the rate of job creation remains the same, it will take nine more years to get back all the jobs lost after the financial crisis—a number that doesn’t take into account the 5 million new jobs the growing population will need. It will take 13 years for median housing prices to return to 2005 levels, from which they’ve fallen 20 percent. And it might take 10 more years for the vacant office buildings across the country to refill.