If you’ve gotten back into the job market recently, you might be wondering which jobs will be safe even during an economic downturn. Times of economic distress is about as certain as death and taxes, so it helps to be prepared. Many career fields are recession-resistant, but you need to know where to look. Many of these jobs are in high demand, and some do not require higher education or any particular degree.
What is a Recession?
A recession is a temporary decline in economic activity, traditionally defined as two consecutive quarters of falling gross domestic product (GDP). A recession is also usually marked by other monthly indicators like an increase in unemployment.
The National Bureau Of Economic Research is the entity that officially declares a recession. The organization has changed the definition of a recession in recent years. Instead of at least two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, the NBER defines it as a significant decline in activity across the economy that lasts more than a few months. The organization adds that recessions are usually seen in real GDP, real income, industrial production, wholesale-retail sales, and employment. The NBER often uses monthly rather than quarterly data to decide when a recession is occurring.
The default setting for the economy is growing, so when recessions occur, they usually don't last very long. In most cases, recessions can last between six months and several years before growth returns. A recession is a natural part of the business cycle, and it is often characterized by bankruptcies, business closures, and a high unemployment rate. Sometimes businesses, technologies, or industries fail to reemerge after a recession, becoming obsolete due to structural changes that occurred during the economic downturn. The coronavirus outbreak was the cause of the most recent recession in 2020, while the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 was the worst downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s.
How Safe is Your Job?
College graduates might think their jobs will be safe when a recession strikes, but that isn't always the case. Holding a particular degree is no guarantee that you won't be laid off in future economic downturns.
What are Recession-proof Job Skills?
If you're looking for some career advice, there are some skills that will make you more employable if you do get laid off. They may also provide you with some job security.
These skills can be used in a variety of different professions and jobs. You can acquire them on the job, at school, through internships or hobbies, or while volunteering. Some examples of transferable skills include time management, languages, communication, multi-tasking, and more.
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Soft skills are also transferable, and they include interpersonal skills, listening, empathy, leadership, problem-solving, negotiation, teamwork, creativity, self-motivation, the ability to work under pressure, time management, and communication.
Most jobs require the use of some form of technology. Office jobs often require the use of Microsoft Office and email programs, while other jobs may have other technical requirements. IT workers can usually find work because many people will always need help with technology. Thus, the tech industry is somewhat recession-proof.
Top 23 Recession-Proof Jobs in the World
Some industries are naturally recession-resistant. Here are 23 of the most recession-proof jobs in the world for those who are looking for job security.
Grocery stores will always need employees, whether the economy is in good shape or not. People will always have to buy food, and they need cashiers to check them out and stockers to keep the shelves filled. You might not make a lot of money working at a grocery store, but you will be essential.
A pharmacist is an essential employee during a recession because they hand out medications and check for interactions between different medications. Pharmacists are a recession-proof job because people will always get sick.
Another group of recession-proof jobs falls into marketing. There will always be products or services in need of advertising. Some marketers make quite a bit of money.
20. Corrections Workers
Corrections officer jobs are also recession-proof. Criminals don't get released from prison just because there is a recession going on. They will always require corrections officers to oversee them.
19. Law Enforcement
If you've been interested in law enforcement, you might consider attending the police academy. Police officers and other law enforcement officers provide an essential service that there will always be a need for.
Firefighters also have recession-proof jobs because they provide an essential service that's required no matter what the economy looks like.
Actuaries measure and manage risk and develop solutions for complex financial issues. Businesses like insurance providers, banks, investment firms, government agencies, online retailers, marketing, energy, employee benefits, and more employ actuaries.
16. Insurance Providers
People will always have to have insurance, so the field has many recession-proof jobs. Some examples of recession-proof jobs in the insurance industry include insurance agents, investigators, underwriters, claim adjusters, and loss control agents.
15. Funeral Workers
A funeral home director is also a recession-proof job, as are many other positions in the industry. Some other positions include funeral planning representatives, counselors, and morticians.
14. Hospice Workers
Hospice may be one of the most difficult areas of the healthcare industry to work in because patients are close to death, but it can also be rewarding to be there for patients in their final days. Some examples of jobs in hospice include nurses, therapists, and coordinators.
The social work profession is quite more varied than you might think. Some social workers protect vulnerable children and support families, while others help people cope and solve problems. Clinical social workers diagnose and treat emotional, behavioral, and mental issues.
12. Mental Health Professionals
People dealing with mental health problems or substance abuse problems will always require assistance, no matter how the economy looks. Psychologists also fit into this category.
11. Physical & Occupational Therapists
There is a national shortage of physical and occupational therapists in the U.S., so there are plenty of job openings. Physical therapists help patients improve their outcomes and lives through physical activity, while occupational therapists treat injured or disabled patients through therapeutic daily activities.
10. Delivery and Courier Services
Careers in the delivery industry
9. Senior Care Providers
Careers in elder care include positions at assisted living facilities, home health aides, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare services.
There are many job opportunities in education. The education system includes teachers, college professors, and other educators and bus drivers.
7. Federal Government Employees
There are many opportunities to work for the federal government. Some examples of a job working for the federal government include Postal Service employees, the military, judges, program managers, and engineers.
6. Public Safety Workers
Public safety employees include police officers and firefighters, border patrol officers, Drug Enforcement Agency officers, emergency management, and paramedics, and other first responders.
5. Credit and Debt Management Counselors
Credit and debt management services will always be needed, especially when the economy is in a downturn. People who are unemployed need help managing their debt.
4. Auditor & Accountants
Businesses and individuals will always require a certified public accountant or tax preparer. Accountants can prepare your tax return or handle your bookkeeping.
3. Utility Workers
The utility services industry includes public utility employees, transit workers and some, people working on construction projects.
2. IT professionals
The information technology industry will always thrive, no matter what the economy is doing. Thus, IT workers will find plenty of job safety and security.
1. Medical Professionals
Health care workers include careers like physician assistants, doctors, and nurses. Healthcare is one of the most secure professions of all.
What jobs are most at risk during a recession?
During a recession, the most at-risk job includes any position that can be automated, travel and tourism jobs, entertainment, exploration and mining, transportation and warehousing, manufacturing positions, food preparation and services, and secretaries.
Is it hard to get a job during a recession?
Searching for a job while the market is down is difficult, but it isn't impossible. You just need to keep in mind that you're up against even more competition for each position than usual because a lot of people are out of work.
What companies will do well in a recession?
A job at certain types of companies will do better during a recession. Some examples of industries that are somewhat recession-proof are healthcare, transportation, consumer staples, food, auto repair and maintenance, hardware stores, property management firms, and grocery stores.
Who benefits during a recession?
People on fixed incomes may benefit because inflation usually declines. Companies that offer inexpensive entertainment also do well because people like to drown their sorrows. Other beneficiaries include bankruptcy attorneys.
When the economy is humming along nicely, it can be difficult to imagine that a downturn is on the way. However, there will always be another downturn, even if it is years away. The best thing you can do is prepare for the next recession by looking for a recession-proof job.