growing body of research has demonstrated that deficits in well-being may be related to increased suicide risk, but there is only a limited number of studies that have focused on specific protective factors that can serve as a buffer against suicidal ideation and behaviours. Given that unemployment may be a factor leading to increased risk for suicide, this study assessed whether perceived EI might be a potential moderator in the relationship between life satisfaction/happiness and suicidal behaviours in a relatively large sample of unemployed individuals. Participants were 1125 unemployed (506 men and 619 women) who completed satisfaction with life and happiness questionnaires, the Suicidal Behaviours Questionnaire and the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Test. Consistent with the interaction hypothesis, lower scores in life satisfaction and happiness were associated with higher levels of current suicidal behaviours, and perceived EI scores moderated these relationships. Interventions targeting well-being via the promotion of emotional abilities may be useful in the prevention of suicidal ideation in the unemployed. The implications for these findings for research and practice are discussed.