President Obama and Mitt Romney are both campaigning on a promise to revitalize the economy, but a new poll offers a gloomy forecast for the next presidential term no matter who is in the White House.
Most of the 32 economists polled in an Associated Press Economy Survey forecast that the unemployment rate will remain above 6 percent for at least the next four years, significantly higher than the 6 percent or lower that would mark a robust economy.
Unemployment has hovered stubbornly around 8 percent for months now, and economists predicted it will still be there come election day. That could spell bad news for Obama, but it might not change under a Romney administration.
"The election isn't going to be a miracle cure for the unemployment rate -- that's for sure," Sean Snaith, an economics professor at the University of Central Florida, told the AP.
Part of the problem is that businesses are spending less and hiring fewer employees. And a big rebound in available jobs wouldn't immediately lower the unemployment rate because of the number of Americans who have dropped out of the labor force because they are unable to find work -- with those Americans factored in, the May unemployment rate rises to 9.6 percent.
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