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How many really suffer as a result of labor market problems

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How many really suffer as a result of labor market problems [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2004, 15:01
How many really suffer as a result of labor mar-
ket problems? This is one of the most critical yet
contentious social policy questions. In many ways,
our social statistics exaggerate the degree of hard-
(5) ship. Unemployment does not have the same dire
consequences today as it did in the 1930's when
most of the unemployed were primary breadwin-
ners, when income and earnings were usually much
closer to the margin of subsistence, and when there
(10) were no countervailing social programs for those
failing in the labor market. Increasing affluence, the
rise of families with more than one wage earner, the
growing predominance of secondary earners among
the unemployed, and improved social welfare pro-
(15) tection have unquestionably mitigated the conse-
quences of joblessness. Earnings and income data
also overstate the dimensions of hardship. Among
the millions with hourly earnings at or below the
minimum wage level, the overwhelming majority
(20) are from multiple-earner, relatively affluent
families. Most of those counted by the poverty
statistics are elderly or handicapped or have family
responsibilities which keep them out of the labor
force, so the poverty statistics are by no means an
(25) accurate indicator of labor market pathologies.
Yet there are also many ways our social statistics
underestimate the degree of labor-market-related
hardship. The unemployment counts exclude the
millions of fully employed workers whose wages are
(30) so low that their families remain in poverty. Low
wages and repeated or prolonged unemployment
frequently interact to undermine the capacity for
self-support. Since the number experiencing jobless-
ness at some time during the year is several times
(35)the number unemployed in any month, those who
suffer as a result of forced idleness can equal or
exceed average annual unemployment, even though
only a minority of the jobless in any month really
suffer. For every person counted in the monthly
(40) unemployment tallies, there is another working
part-time because of the inability to find full-time
work, or else outside the labor force but wanting a
job. Finally, income transfers in our country have
always focused on the elderly, disabled, and depen-
(45)dent, neglecting the needs of the working poor, so
that the dramatic expansion of cash and in-kind
transfers does not necessarily mean that those fail-
ing in the labor market are adequately protected.
As a result of such contradictory evidence, it is
(50) uncertain whether those suffering seriously as a
result of thousands or the tens of millions, and,
hence, whether high levels of joblessness can be tol-
erated or must be countered by job creation and
(55) economic stimulus. There is only one area of agree-
ment in this debate---that the existing poverty,
employment, and earnings statistics are inadequate
for one their primary applications, measuring the
consequences of labor market problems.

1. Which of the following is the principal topic of the
passage?
(A) What causes labor market pathologies that result
in suffering
(B) Why income measures are imprecise in measuring
degrees of poverty
(C) Which of the currently used statistical procedures
are the best for estimating the incidence of
hardship that is due to unemployment
(D) Where the areas of agreement are among
poverty, employment, and earnings figures
(E) How social statistics give an unclear picture of the
degree of hardship caused by low wages and
insufficient employment opportunities

2.Which of the following proposals best responds to the
issues raised by the author?
(A) Innovative programs using multiple approaches
should be set up to reduce the level of unemployment.
(B) A compromise should be found between the
positions of those who view joblessness as an
evil greater than economic control and those who
hold the opposite view.
(C) New statistical indices should be developed to
measure the degree to which unemployment and
inadequately paid employment cause suffering.
(D) Consideration should be given to the ways in which
statistics can act as partial causes of the phenomena
that they purport to measure.
(E) The labor force should be restructured so that it
corresponds to the range of job vacancies.

3 .The author's purpose in citing those who are repeatedly
unemployed during a twelve-month period is most
probably to show that
(A) there are several factors that cause the payment
of low wages to some members of the labor force
(B) unemployment statistics can underestimate the
hardship resulting from joblessness
(C) recurrent inadequacies in the labor market can
exist and can cause hardships for individual
workers
(D) a majority of those who are jobless at any one
time to not suffer severe hardship
(E) there are fewer individuals who are without jobs
at some time during a year than would be
expected on the basis of monthly unemployment
figures

4. According to the passage, one factor that causes
unemployment and earnings figures to overpredict
the amount of economic hardship is the
(A) recurrence of periods of unemployment for a
group of low-wage workers
(B) possibility that earnings may be received from
more than one job per worker
(C) fact that unemployment counts do not include
those who work for low wages and remain poor
(D) establishment of a system of record-keeping that
makes it possible to compile poverty statistics
(E) prevalence, among low-wage workers and the
unemployed, of members of families in which
others are employed

5. The conclusion stated in lines 33-39 about the
number of people who suffer as a result of forced
idleness depends primarily on the point that
(A) in times of high unemployment, there are some
people who do not remain unemployed for long
(B) the capacity for self-support depends on
receiving moderate-to-high wages
(C) those in forced idleness include, besides the
unemployed, both underemployed part-time
workers and those not actively seeking work
(D) at different times during the year, different people
are unemployed
(E) many of those who are affected by unemploy-
ment are dependents of unemployed workers
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2004, 16:13
I found this one quite boring. Well, any of them interesting anyways? :lol:
1-E
2-C
3-B
4-E
5-A
About 10 min
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2004, 17:06
In many ways,our social statistics exaggerate the degree of hard-
(5) ship.


E

There is only one area of agree-
ment in this debate---that the existing poverty,
employment, and earnings statistics are inadequate
for one their primary applications, measuring the
consequences of labor market problems

C

Not Sure about This...
E or B...chose E

Earnings and income data
also overstate the dimensions of hardship. Among
the millions with hourly earnings at or below the
minimum wage level, the overwhelming majority
(20) are from multiple-earner, relatively affluent
families.

E


5) Not sure about this...C or D.......C
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GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2004, 18:42
My answers:

1) E
2) C
3) B
4) C
5) C

Time : 10-11 minutes
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A 750 aspirant.

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Kudos [?]: 665 [0], given: 781

Re: [#5] RC Challenge : Labor Markets [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2004, 20:44
Quote:

Time yourself
Solve as fast as you can
Please explain your solution here, and your time please

How many really suffer as a result of labor mar-
ket problems? This is one of the most critical yet
contentious social policy questions. In many ways,
our social statistics exaggerate the degree of hard-
(5) ship. Unemployment does not have the same dire
consequences today as it did in the 1930's when
most of the unemployed were primary breadwin-
ners, when income and earnings were usually much
closer to the margin of subsistence, and when there
(10) were no countervailing social programs for those
failing in the labor market. Increasing affluence, the
rise of families with more than one wage earner, the
growing predominance of secondary earners among
the unemployed, and improved social welfare pro-
(15) tection have unquestionably mitigated the conse-
quences of joblessness. Earnings and income data
also overstate the dimensions of hardship. Among
the millions with hourly earnings at or below the
minimum wage level, the overwhelming majority
(20) are from multiple-earner, relatively affluent
families. Most of those counted by the poverty
statistics are elderly or handicapped or have family
responsibilities which keep them out of the labor
force, so the poverty statistics are by no means an
(25) accurate indicator of labor market pathologies.
Yet there are also many ways our social statistics
underestimate the degree of labor-market-related
hardship. The unemployment counts exclude the
millions of fully employed workers whose wages are
(30) so low that their families remain in poverty. Low
wages and repeated or prolonged unemployment
frequently interact to undermine the capacity for
self-support. Since the number experiencing jobless-
ness at some time during the year is several times
(35)the number unemployed in any month, those who
suffer as a result of forced idleness can equal or
exceed average annual unemployment, even though
only a minority of the jobless in any month really
suffer. For every person counted in the monthly
(40) unemployment tallies, there is another working
part-time because of the inability to find full-time
work, or else outside the labor force but wanting a
job. Finally, income transfers in our country have
always focused on the elderly, disabled, and depen-
(45)dent, neglecting the needs of the working poor, so
that the dramatic expansion of cash and in-kind
transfers does not necessarily mean that those fail-
ing in the labor market are adequately protected.
As a result of such contradictory evidence, it is
(50) uncertain whether those suffering seriously as a
result of thousands or the tens of millions, and,
hence, whether high levels of joblessness can be tol-
erated or must be countered by job creation and
(55) economic stimulus. There is only one area of agree-
ment in this debate---that the existing poverty,
employment, and earnings statistics are inadequate
for one their primary applications, measuring the
consequences of labor market problems.

Quote:
1. Which of the following is the principal topic of the
passage?
(A) What causes labor market pathologies that result
in suffering
(B) Why income measures are imprecise in measuring
degrees of poverty
(C) Which of the currently used statistical procedures
are the best for estimating the incidence of
hardship that is due to unemployment
(D) Where the areas of agreement are among
poverty, employment, and earnings figures
(E) How social statistics give an unclear picture of the
degree of hardship caused by low wages and
insufficient employment opportunities


Answer : E

Quote:
2.Which of the following proposals best responds to the
issues raised by the author?
(A) Innovative programs using multiple approaches
should be set up to reduce the level of unemployment.
(B) A compromise should be found between the
positions of those who view joblessness as an
evil greater than economic control and those who
hold the opposite view.
(C) New statistical indices should be developed to
measure the degree to which unemployment and
inadequately paid employment cause suffering.
(D) Consideration should be given to the ways in which
statistics can act as partial causes of the phenomena
that they purport to measure.
(E) The labor force should be restructured so that it
corresponds to the range of job vacancies.


Answer : C

Quote:
3 .The author's purpose in citing those who are repeatedly
unemployed during a twelve-month period is most
probably to show that
(A) there are several factors that cause the payment
of low wages to some members of the labor force
(B) unemployment statistics can underestimate the
hardship resulting from joblessness
(C) recurrent inadequacies in the labor market can
exist and can cause hardships for individual
workers
(D) a majority of those who are jobless at any one
time to not suffer severe hardship
(E) there are fewer individuals who are without jobs
at some time during a year than would be
expected on the basis of monthly unemployment
figures


Answer: B

Quote:
4. According to the passage, one factor that causes
unemployment and earnings figures to overpredict
the amount of economic hardship is the
(A) recurrence of periods of unemployment for a
group of low-wage workers
(B) possibility that earnings may be received from
more than one job per worker
(C) fact that unemployment counts do not include
those who work for low wages and remain poor
(D) establishment of a system of record-keeping that
makes it possible to compile poverty statistics
(E) prevalence, among low-wage workers and the
unemployed, of members of families in which
others are employed


Answer : E

Quote:
5. The conclusion stated in lines 33-39 about the
number of people who suffer as a result of forced
idleness depends primarily on the point that
(A) in times of high unemployment, there are some
people who do not remain unemployed for long
(B) the capacity for self-support depends on
receiving moderate-to-high wages
(C) those in forced idleness include, besides the
unemployed, both underemployed part-time
workers and those not actively seeking work
(D) at different times during the year, different people
are unemployed
(E) many of those who are affected by unemploy-
ment are dependents of unemployed workers


Answer : D
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2004, 14:57
Could anyone explain why D is correct for question 5?
(BTW: I also got that wrong)
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2004, 17:06
kpadma wrote:
Could anyone explain why D is correct for question 5?
(BTW: I also got that wrong)


Quote:
Since the number experiencing jobless-
ness at some time during the year is [b]several times
(35)the number unemployed in any month[/b], those who
suffer as a result of forced idleness can equal or
exceed average annual unemployment, even though
only a minority of the jobless in any month really
suffer.


kpadma, this is one of the tougher ones. I hope my explanations helps. I reached the answer using the process of elimination. my explanation for D might not be credible, but i hope i can explain why the other choices are wrong.

This RC uses an intelligent way of asking an assumption question :)

The conclusion:
the number who suffer from forced idleness is equal or more than the average unemployment, even though only a minority suffers.

The author tries to show how social statistics underestimate the degree of hardship and one of his explanations is lines 33-36. Now lets look at the answer choices

Example based on the conclusion : 50 people experienced joblessness in january and 600 were unemployed due to forced idleness in January. ( notice that the diff. is several times) So total for Jan. = 650

5. The conclusion stated in lines 33-39 about the
number of people who suffer as a result of forced
idleness depends primarily on the point that

Quote:
(A) in times of high unemployment, there are some
people who do not remain unemployed for long


if thats the case, then the authors statement does not hold.

Quote:
(B) the capacity for self-support depends on
receiving moderate-to-high wages


Its talking about something totally different. its starts at line 30 and is not part of the argument.

Quote:
(C) those in forced idleness include, besides the
unemployed, both underemployed part-time
workers and those not actively seeking work


if thats the case, then the real number of unemployed due to forced idleness would be lower and contradicts the conclusion. Even if they are underemployed, they still have some form of employment.

Quote:
(D) at different times during the year, different people
are unemployed


The author makes a generic statement about the difference in number between workers feeling joblessness and workers suffering from forced idleness. I think this 'ratio' can only be maintained if D is true.

Anyone want to refute/add to this?

Quote:
(E) many of those who are affected by unemploy-
ment are dependents of unemployed workers


Its not related to the issue. we are talking about numbers of people suffering due to forced idleness, not about their dependents

I hope this helps

Regards
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Re: How many really suffer as a result of labor market problems [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 05:38
Please explain how to answer the following question of this passage:

9. Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the author’s argument concerning why poverty statistics cannot properly be used to show the effects of problems in the labor market?
(A) A short-term increase in the number of those in poverty can indicate a shortage of jobs because the basic number of those unable to accept employment remains approximately constant.
(B) For those who are in poverty as a result of joblessness, there are social programs available that provide a minimum standard of living.
(C) Poverty statistics do not consistently agree with earnings statistics, when each is taken as a measure of hardship resulting from unemployment.
(D) The elderly and handicapped categories include many who previously were employed in the labor market.
(E) Since the labor market is global in nature, poor workers in one country are competing with poor workers in another with respect to the level of wages and the existence of jobs.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
A
Re: How many really suffer as a result of labor market problems   [#permalink] 18 Mar 2013, 05:38
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