In the 1960s, Arthur Okun, a prominent economist
, claimed to have discovered a mathematical relationship between the decline in output (that is, goods and services produced) and the rise in unemployment. It held up pretty well until recently. But this time around, although the decline in output would have predicted a rise in unemployment to 8 percent, the actual jobless rate has soared to 9.5 percent. So this recession is killing off jobs even faster than the things — like automobiles, houses, computers and newspapers — that jobholders produce.