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# Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ...

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Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2009, 09:05
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2009, 13:36
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Since the sentence is comparing the rising of employment costs, you need "they did" in the comparison. If it were just employment costs, then you could use "lower than" ..
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2009, 06:46
Since the sentence is comparing the rising of employment costs, you need "they did" in the comparison. If it were just employment costs, then you could use "lower than" ..

Why is less than considered. Less is used for uncountable words right? Lower is used for countable. Rising costs will be a number. And hence countable so shouldnt it be lower than they were? Please explain.. why each answer is wrong.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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12 Nov 2009, 08:03
I dont think Employments costs is countable here but still not sure
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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13 Nov 2009, 12:32
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Here 'less" is modifying 'rose' and not employment costs.because costs have risen by 2.8 %.so costs can not be lower

this eliminates D and E.

B is wrong because of It

C is wrong because less than they were.here were is modifying employment costs

which is wrong.

So A is the right answer.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2010, 11:23
Hi,
As explained by hrish88, 'less' modifies rose, but how is the subject plural?
In option A, we are using 'less than they' which means 'rose' should be a plural subject.
If subject is singular, then we should use 'it' instead.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2010, 01:29
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Can you count years? I can count my birthday LOL

But in grammar "25 years" is uncountable. e.g Less than 35 years after the release of African honeybees outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, their descendants, had migrated as far north as southern Texas.

Similarly "1000 dollars" is uncountable. I have [less / fewer] than 1000 dollars ----> less

"10 hours" are uncountable

Money is uncountable e.g. How ......... money do you have? ----> much

RaviChandra wrote:
I dont think Employments costs is countable here but still not sure

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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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30 Apr 2012, 07:13
Although I don't think it is the relevant issue in this one, "employment costs" might be either countable or uncountable, depending on the context. You could count the various components (employment costs = hiring + training + salary + benefits + etc.). On the other hand, you could lump all of these costs into one amount, which would be uncountable.

Uncountable is probably the intended meaning here, as it says the costs "rose" not "increased in number."

Either "less" or "lower" could work with an uncountable quantity, so what do we really need to know about these words?
--"less" is a comparative that means "smaller in size, amount, degree, etc."
--"lower" is a comparative that is the opposite of higher.

I think the relevant amount is not the "employment costs" but the percent by which the costs rose. I think "less than" more clearly conveys the idea that employment costs rose 2.8% in the year ending in September, while employment costs rose <2.8% in the year ending in June.

If you wanted to use "lower than" correctly, you would need a noun in the second part of the comparison (e.g. "2.8% is lower than the percent for last quarter). Both (D) and (E) can be eliminated on this basis. (D) has no noun in the second part of the comparison. (E) has "they" = costs, which is the wrong noun, in the second part of the comparison.
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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23 Apr 2015, 02:08
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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04 May 2017, 03:14
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ... [#permalink]

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04 May 2017, 12:06
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One thing to remember: Except in the case of money when it is taken as a quantum of money or a distance that is taken as one length of distance or time reference that is taken as a quantity of time( in spite of the fact, they invariably involve plural words), in all other cases plural nouns are considered countable.
Eg: 100 dollars is too much price for a trouser.
Note the plural word dollars being taken, as singular, however, 'I gave 9 ten dollar bills for the trouser' is considered plural because you are able to count each ten-dollar bill.
2. 26 miles and 195 feet is the distance of a marathon.
3. Four hours is a long time for an air travel from Chennai to Delhi.

'Costs' in the given case is countable. You see there are so many types of employment costs such as housing allowance, travel allowance, hospital care, subsided food etc, etc. Second, it is now countable, lower is the more appropriate comparator than less. By this reckoning, we may dislodge A, B, and C in one stroke.

However, the crux of the issue is that of a proper comparison. Let's take the verb 'rose'. Did the employments costs do anything to raise the percentage? No, the costs rose as a matter of a natural phenomenon. Therefore, there is no deliberate action involved in the comparison. You will use an action verb in comparisons in the second arm only when there is an equally comparable action in the first arm. The actual sentence with the proper comparison is: Employment costs rose 2.8% in the 12 months ended September, slightly less than (employment costs rose) in the year ended in the previous quarter. Here we can elide employment costs rose in the second arm since a verbatim version is present in the first arm.
They 'were' in E does not describe the intent of employment costs rose as stated in the first arm. Hence, E is wrong
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Re: Employment costs rose 2.8 percent in the 12 months ...   [#permalink] 04 May 2017, 12:06
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