The U.S. economy appears to be recovering. According to the Commerce Department, the economy has grown for the first time in a year, with gross domestic product expanding at an annual rate of 3.5 percent during the quarter ended in September. The economy had contracted at annual rates of 0.7 percent and 6.4 percent in the second and first quarters respectively. The rebound derived from government spending, rising exports, and sales of consumer durables. However, the unemployed aren't likely to benefit from the recovery for several months. The poor job market has discouraged consumer spending and low consumer confidence has meant that companies are wary of hiring new employees, further compounding the problem.