updated 10/22/2003 5:20:28 PM ET 2003-10-22T21:20:28

Perhaps the defining feature of the current economic recovery is that to most middle-class Americans, it hardly feels like recovery at all. Although the recession presumably ended more than a year ago, the economy has lost jobs for five straight months, and the unemployment rate spiked to a nine-year high of 6.4 percent in June. Even for people who are comfortably employed, the specter of unemployment is pervasive, while for millions of unemployed workers, there is a sense of near-desperation. “My savings, which I have been using to supplement the unemployment, is gone,” said one reader in an e-mail to MSNBC. “I have NO idea what I will do.”

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.71%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.26%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.70%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.42%
13.42%
Cash Back Cards 17.94%
17.94%
Rewards Cards 17.14%
17.14%
Source: Bankrate.com