Unemployment strongly influences a person’s economic resources and life chances. Especially for unemployed individuals who have to rely on means-tested benefits, episodes of unemployment often go along with substantial material restrictions. Therefore, from a policy perspective, measures or regulations that might shorten unemployment episodes and reduce overall unemployment are particularly important.
In this paper, we analyse whether concessions regarding the characteristics of the job searched for influence an individual’s unemployment duration. In doing so, we focus on a particular aspect of availability requirements in Germany. This is the fact that for unemployed recipients of means-tested benefits almost all types of jobs count as suitable employment and, therefore, recipients are obliged to make job-related concessions if offered a job requiring such concessions.
The results indicate that there is no positive effect of making concessions regarding qualification requirements or status on employment chances. In contrast, there are positive effects of wage concessions. However, searching for a job in a different occupation (that does not necessarily imply a concession) has a comparable, positive effect on finding employment. Thus, it appears that being generally flexible regarding one’s future occupation might be at least as important for employment chances as making concessions.