Last year a record number of new manufacturing jobs were created. Will this year bring another record? Well, a new manufacturing job is created either within an existing company or by the start-up of a new company. Within existing firms, new jobs have been created this year at well below last year's record pace. At the same time, there is considerable evidence that the number of new companies starting up will be no higher this year than it was last year, and surely the new companies starting up this year will create no more jobs per company than did last year's start-ups. Clearly, it can be concluded that the number of new jobs created this year will fall short of last year's record.
In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?
The first is a prediction that, if accurate, would provide support for the main conclusion of the argument; the second is that main conclusion.
The first is a prediction that, if accurate, would provide support for the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a conclusion drawn in order to support that main conclusion.
The first is an objection that the argument rejects; the second is the main conclusion of the argument.
The first is an objection that the argument rejects; the second presents a conclusion that could be drawn if that objection were allowed to stand.
The first is a claim that has been advanced in support of a position that the argument opposes; the second is a claim advanced in support of the main conclusion of the argument.