Hi,

"The fear is that the "labour hoarding" that occurred during the recession, where employers retained skilled workers for fear of losing them forever, and pay restraint helped to protect jobs, may now be coming to an end as employers conclude that the upturn won't come soon enough for them to justify keeping their staff on any longer." [From The Independent.]

Do you agree with me that there should be an article before the noun "pay restraint"? Why is the article "the" before "labour hoarding" but not before "pay restraint"?

Thank you.
'The' appears before 'labour hoarding' to announce that it is specified in the succeeding clause ('that occurred during the recession'). No article is necessary before 'pay restraint' (just as there is none before 'employers' or 'skilled workers') because it refers to a general condition.
Thank you, MM, for your useful reply.