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Critical Reasoning: Assumption Questions

The rate of unemployment in Country X is higher than is the rate of unemployment in Country Y. Therefore, the number of unemployed people in Country X is greater than the number of unemployed people in Country Y is.

Which of the following is an assumption underlying the above conclusion?

Correct!

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Only if the population in both countries is the same can the rates be translated to actual number of people out of work. Otherwise, if Country X was much smaller than Country Y, it could have had a higher unemployment rate but less unemployed people. To reach the conclusion, the author had to assume both countries have the same population.

Incorrect.

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If the rate of unemployment in Country X was 30% or 95% - would that affect the conclusion? Unfortunately, it wouldn't. The exact unemployment rate of Country X is irrelevant to this question, because it fails to explain what the author assumed by reaching the conclusion.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents a new premise about the skill level of the population in both countries. It is irrelevant whether this new data supports the conclusion; what you are looking for is the assumption, which should explain how the author drew the conclusion based on the existing premises.

Incorrect.

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The countries' size or area (as opposed to the size of the countries' population) does not directly influence unemployment, and therefore cannot explain how the author reached the conclusion.

Incorrect.

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This answer choice presents a new premise about the rate of men and women in the population in both countries. As gender is outside the scope of this argument, it cannot explain what the author assumed in order to reach the conclusion.

The unemployment rate in Country X is 15%.
The population of Country Y is more skilled than the population of Country X.
The number of people in Country X is the same as the number of people in Country Y.
The size of Country X is the same as that of Country Y.
In both countries, the ratio of the number of men to the number of women is the same.