Selective search where unemployed job losers confine their job seeking efforts to matches in the pre-separation sector has attracted consid erable attention as a possible source of high and persistent unemployment. However, this idea is questionable. Those opting for selection may do so because this strategy is more effective at gener ating an acceptable offer. Using UK microdata I find evidence in support of the latter view. Selective searchers cannot account for the persistence of high unemployment since the early 1980s