But the two main candidates won’t tell you this. Just like they won’t tell you how they will rescue the economy:
A majority of economists in the latest Associated Press Economy Survey expect the national unemployment rate to stay above 6 percent — the upper bounds of what’s considered healthy — for at least four more years.
If the economists are correct, the job market will still be unhealthy seven years after the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. That would be the longest stretch of high unemployment since the end of World War II.
And it means the job market and the economy — Obama’s main political threats — would remain big challenges in either a second Obama term or President Mitt Romney’s first term.
“The election isn’t going to be a miracle cure for the unemployment rate — that’s for sure,” says Sean Snaith, an economics professor at the University of Central Florida. He thinks unemployment, which is 8.2 percent now, won’t drop back to 6 percent until after 2016.