This study investigated the relative contributions of the individual latent and manifest benefits of employment to well-being in a sample of 248 unemployed people. Participants completed measures of well-being and the latent (time structure, activity, status, collective purpose, and social contact) and manifest (financial strain) benefits of employment. Significant associations were found between the latent benefits and well-being and between the manifest benefits and well-being. Both latent and manifest benefits contributed significantly to the prediction of well-being, with the manifest benefit accounting for the largest proportion. Although all latent benefits contributed significantly, status emerged as the most important contributor, followed by time structure and collective purpose. Results are discussed in the context of M. Jahoda's (1982) latent deprivation model and D. Fryer's (1986) agency restriction model.