There is an old joke (and kind of sick joke) that defines a recession as when your neighbor loses his job and a depression as when you lose your job.
In my area of Southern California housing prices are down but certainly not as steep as in other areas of the region. Many people that I talk to say that there business is off but that they are holding it together. Some see a small upturn recently.
Last weekend we were in Austin, Texas for Malik and Zaheen’s wedding. There is considerable construction in downtown Austin and much of it seemed to be apartment buildings. A local businessman that we met said his March 2009 was better than his March 2008. Austin is home to the University of Texas and is the state capital. One would expect that large university towns and seats of government are less impacted by economic cycles (good and bad) than areas with a strictly industrial base. Austin, of course, also has some industry and considerable high tech, the home of Dell for example.
What is it like where you live? Is there a recession or a depression in your area? Do you see an economy that is really down or one that is just somewhat off? Any signs of recovery in your area?