After these revisions it’s clear to see that the current recession is even more of a dramatic Okun’s Law outlier than was originally thought when observing the pre-revised data.
I'm sure us Populists will be revisting this topic soon, but for now even Economist Brad Delong is affirming the obvious:
I'm guessing there is another set of factors at work. Manufacturing firms used to think that their most important asset was skilled workers. Hence they hung onto them, "hoarding labor" in recessions. And they especially did not want to let go of their prime productive asset when the recovery began. Skilled workers were the franchise. Now, by contrast, it looks as though firms think that their workers are much more disposable—that it's their brands or their machines or their procedures and organizations that are key assets. They still want to keep their workers happy in general, they just don't care as much about these particular workers.
The hypothesis is that firms believe that their remaining workers will forgive them if they fire large numbers of workers during a recession out of economic necessity, but not at other times. Hence the start of the recovery is a business' last moment to slim down its labor force and become more efficient and profitable in the coming boom.
Now will we finally hear productivity and offshore outsourcing in the same sentence?
Let me steal another fantastic graph from Macro blog, the revised GDP rates.
Macroblog's previous post on the unemployment rate data point outliner: Unemployment rate: Count me surprised
I feel validated...and as broke as Okun is.