Recently, highly skilled workers in Eastern Europe have left jobs in record numbers to emigrate to the West. It is th...

christyv on December 18, 2021

How does answer B. weaken?

How does answer choice B. and not answer choice C. weaken the conclusion? My thought process was the Eastern European skilled workers who stayed in their home countries did not stay because they were in high demand as stated in the conclusion, but they stayed because finding new skills after moving to the West was too demanding leading them to stay in their home country. Answer choice C. seemed to bring up an alternative cause.

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Emil-Kunkin on January 19, 2022

Our conclusion is that it is likely that skilled workers who remain in Eastern Europe are likely in high demand there, and this is supported by the fact that many skilled Eastern Europeans have left for the west. While they do not outright state it, we can assume that the author is basing this on supply and demand: the supply of skilled workers in the east has decreased, so the remaining skilled workers are likely in higher demand. I think the conclusion may be a little different from what you stated: workers in the east did not stay because they are in high demand, rather the author states that skilled workers are likely in high demand since so many have left. We are looking for something that undermines this conclusion.

C tells us that the skilled Eastern European workers often must learn new skills once they emigrate. This tells us nothing about the situation in Eastern Europe, which is what our conclusion is about. It also only relates to migrants who have already left. While it might be possible that some of these migrants MIGHT return after leaving and finding out they need new skills, we are never told this, and it would still not undermine the premise that record numbers of skilled workers are leaving the east. Furthermore, we are never told that learning new skills is too demanding, nor that it inhibits migrants from finding work. In fact, the answer choice tells us that many (not all) must learn new skills AFTER finding work, which indicates that these migrants are employed in their new countries. Just because a new job requires new skills (and indeed, almost every new job will require new skills of some sort) does not mean that you will immediately leave both the job and the country.

B more directly relates to the argument's conclusion. It tells us that the demand for skilled workers has fallen in the east because the economy has changed, which would undermine the conclusion that skilled workers who remain in the east are in high demand.