This study examined the effects of different types of activity upon the affective states, personal control, and work values of unemployed youth. Activities were identified as high or low quality depending on the degree to which they required skill-utilisation, autonomy, interaction, variety, and pressure. The study also examined the relative adjustment of youth in employment with those in either high quality or low quality unemployment. Initially, students were surveyed at school and then resurveyed when they were either unemployed, employed, or continuing their education. Results showed that the quality of activity had no effect upon the level of adjustment of unemployed young people. Both groups of unemployed youth (high and low quality activities) had high depressive affect, lower life satisfaction, lesser commitment to die Protestant work ethic, and lower levels of perceived competence than youth in employment.