...<lags> actual conditions in regional labour markets.

Roundhouse

Senior Member
Bengali
I do not understand the meaning of the sentence in bold.

Author wrote: The use of unemployment rate as the sole basis for the Variable Entrance Requirement is firstly problematic because the 3-month moving average is used. This means that the adjustment of the Variable Entrance Requirement substantially lags actual conditions in regional labour markets.

I am particularly confused by how the author used the word lags. Shouldn't it be followed by behind?

So lag means fall behind in movement, progress, or development; not keep pace with another or others. But actual labour market conditions is not something countable.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I am particularly confused by how the author used the word lags. Shouldn't it be followed by behind?
    Not in technical writing. In ordinary English, "lag" usually refers to position, where it is usually followed by "behind". In technical writing, "lag" usually refers to a temporal relationship, and "behind" is not used.
    So lag means fall behind in movement, progress, or development; not keep pace with another or others. But actual labour market conditions is not something countable.
    It can mean that, but it does not here. There is no element of falling behind or not keeping pace. In fact, "lag" is used where the two things keep pace exactly, just that one is a certain distance in time behind the other.
     

    Roundhouse

    Senior Member
    Bengali
    Not in technical writing. In ordinary English, "lag" usually refers to position, where it is usually followed by "behind". In technical writing, "lag" usually refers to a temporal relationship, and "behind" is not used.

    It can mean that, but it does not here. There is no element of falling behind or not keeping pace. In fact, "lag" is used where the two things keep pace exactly, just that one is a certain distance in time behind the other.
    Uncle Jack, thanks for explaining. Pardon me for asking though, why is "the" not being used here: substantially lags [the?] actual conditions in [the?] regional labour markets.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is no grammatical need for "the". "Regional labour markets" appears to be undefined (unless they were mentioned earlier), so "the" would not be appropriate; it refers to any regional labour market. "The" could be added before "actual conditions", but the writer chose not to. I don't think adding "the" makes any difference here.
     
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