Monika Mühlböck, Nadia Steiber, Bernhard Kittel
Learning to keep the faith? Further education and perceived employability among young unemployed

Economic and Industrial Democracy, 2022: 43, issue 2, pp. 705–725
ISSN: 0143-831X (print), 1461-7099 (online)

To keep up job search motivation and maintain re-employment chances, it is important that unemployed individuals do not stop believing in their ability to (re)gain satisfying employment. This article examines whether further education during unemployment has a positive effect on perceived employability (i.e. the subjective assessment of one’s chances to obtain the desired job), based on a panel survey of unemployed young adults in Austria. The article finds that educational activities – either on own initiative or as part of an active labor market program – indeed help to sustain or even increase perceived employability. However, only for long-term programs do the effects persist beyond the duration of the activity. This study thus identifies substantial psychological side effects of active labor market policies involving further education, which could be used to increase actual employability.