This paper tests the appropriateness of government employment policies in targeting specific groups of unemployed job seekers in the UK. A sample of 169 job seekers is divided into those who were successful and unsuccessful in finding employment and the attributes of each group is analysed. A factor analysis of these attributes is carried out in order to develop typical profiles of unsuccessful job seekers and these profiles are compared with current policy target groups. The findings show that high levels of accumulated human and financial capital, non‐metropolitan residence and accessibility to centres of employment have a positive impact on job search success. This casts doubt on the appropriateness of using socio‐demographic and local area characteristics to select job seekers for assistance, when other factors appear to have more bearing on job search success. The only current policy target group fully justified by this study is the long‐term unemployed, who had a significantly lower chance of finding unemployment.
International Journal of Manpower – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2004
Keywords: Unemployment; Jobs; Target audience; Scotland