Two months in a row, jobs have disappeared. There is no more important economic issue we face right now and the parties need to define why this is and what they will do to address the problem.
From 1980 to 2000, the American economy created almost 2 million jobs per year. For the first decade of this century, the economy has LOST about 200,000 jobs per year.
George W. Bush stimulated the economy enormously - jacking up spending and lowering taxes. In spite of that, during his administration, jobs were created at about 1/10th the rate as during Clinton's administration. And of course, the slow creation of jobs under Obama's policies has reversed, and on net, job losses each of the first two years has been about 2 million.
I have some theories about this but they are just that - theories. I do have some facts, though. The Republicans have shown themselves irrelevant to this problem by clamoring for deficit reduction - calling for budget cuts in a time of near-double digit unemployment. Whatever questions we have about how to create jobs, we can be pretty sure that this is a good way to destroy them. The Democrats, too, have shown themselves irrelevant to this problem. They ask for more time for their stimulus package to work (or, rather, put Americans to work) but are unable to explain why massive stimulus has had so little effect on the economy. And they holler about candidates who dabbled in witchcraft.
This problem of job formation would be problematic in the best of times. It is compounded by the fact that the media is all about defending or attacking the major parties rather than exploring a problem for which there appears to be no obvious solutions.