Reading Comprehension Test

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Read the following passage carefully and answer the given questions

Unemployment is an important index of economic slack and lost output, but it is much more than that. For the unemployed person, it is often a damaging affront to human dignity and sometimes a catastrophic blow to family life. Nor is this cost distributed in proportion to ability to bear it. It falls most heavily on the young, the semiskilled and unskilled, the black person, the older worker, and underemployed person in a low income rural area who is denied the option of securing more rewarding urban employment…. The concentrated incidence of unemployment among specific groups in the population means far greater costs to society that can be measured simply in hours of involuntary idleness or dollars of income lost. The extra costs include disruption of the careers of young people, increased juvenile delinquency, and perpetuation of conditions which breed racial discrimination in employment and otherwise deny equality of opportunity. There is another and more subtle cost. The social and economic strains of prolonged under-utilization create strong pressures for cost-increasing solutions…. On the side of labor, prolonged high unemployment leads to “share-the-work” pressures for shorter hours, intensifies resistance to technological change and to rationalization of work rules. On the side of business, the weakness of markets leads to attempts to raise prices to cover high average overhead casts and to pressures for protection against foreign and domestic competition.

1. According to the passage, unemployment is an index of
(A) over utilization of capacity
(B) economic slack and lost output
(C) diminished resources
(D) the employment rate
(E) under capacity

2. While unemployment is damaging to many, it falls most heavily upon all except the
(A) black
(B) semiskilled
(C) unskilled
(D) underemployed
(E) white middle class

3. The cost to society of unemployment can be measured by all except
(A) lost incomes
(B) idleness
(C) juvenile delinquency
(D) disruption of careers
(E) the death rate

4. Serious unemployment leads labor groups to demand
(A) more jobs by having everyone work shorter hours
(B) higher wages to those employed
(C) “no fire” policies
(D) cost-cutting solutions
(E) higher social security payments

5. According to the passage, a typical business reaction to a recession is to press for
(A) higher unemployment insurance
(B) protection against imports
(C) government action
(D) restrictive business practices
(E) restraint against union activity

1. B
2. E
3. E
4. A
5. B