Volatile markets with their recent triple-digit swings have made investors jittery and political pundits question whether the so-called economic recovery is backsliding into recession.

And the issue that will be at the forefront of next year’s U.S. presidential election is jobs. As the nation gears up to listen to President Barack Obama’s speech on creating jobs, Ameriprise Financial’s chief market strategist David Joy told a group of reporters who had gathered Wednesday night at the New York Stock Exchange that he expects “unemployment to remain high for a long time.”

Along with his colleague, Ameriprise senior economist Russell Price, Joy predicted modest growth for the rest of the year and into 2012. But looking specifically at the Obama $300 billion jobs plan, Joy says he is “not expecting much in terms of impact.”

Both experts believe that the U.S. economy is basically sound, but Price says “there’s probably a 30% chance of a double-dip recession.”

Still both men noted that corporate profits are strong even though third quarter estimates have dipped fractionally.

“We like equities here in the U.S. and emerging markets are getting attractive once again,” Joy said.  And he believes the markets “can absorb some additional bad news” although the European debt crisis may prove more problematic.

While there may be investing opportunities in the markets, the weak housing market and unemployment hovering just above 9% are the issues that concern the nation and that are depressing the president’s poll numbers.

And, voters -- including those without jobs and those who want to look for better ones --are getting mighty impatient.