based on their regional unemployment rate

Roundhouse

Senior Member
Bengali
A. Such disparity between workers is exacerbated by the program’s differentiation of weekly benefits: some workers receive larger benefit paychecks than others based on their regional unemployment rate.
I was told that the part in bold sounds weird because of "their" which relates to the workers; workers cannot have unemployment rates. I am not totally convinced with that argument. But to remove any ambiguity, I am wondering if writing "based on their region's unemployment rate" would be an improvement.

OR should I fully rephrase the above into the following:

B. Such disparity between workers is exacerbated by the program’s differentiation of weekly benefits: based on the regional unemployment rate, some workers receive larger benefit paychecks than others.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    workers cannot have unemployment rates
    I don't see why not. It is common enough to use personal pronouns to refer to something associated with a person or people. My county town is Carlisle, for instance, and individuals no more have a county town than an unemployment rate. I suppose this is an example of metonymy, and its use is common.

    However, if you wish to avoid this sort of thing, then "based on their region's unemployment rate" might be better. [Edit: "their" was accidentally omitted from the original post]

    Sentence B is not nearly as clear as sentence A, as it obscures the point that different workers are in different regions. You really do need "their", to show where the difference lies between different workers.
     
    Last edited:

    Roundhouse

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    Sentence B is not nearly as clear as sentence A, as it obscures the point that different workers are in different regions. You really do need "their", to show where the difference lies between different workers.
    Uncle Jack, thanks very much for this. This makes so much sense. I never thought of that.
     
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