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Recession-Proof Jobs in 2009-2010

Hundreds of jobs are disappearing daily in many countries. In some industries people manage to keep their jobs during recessions and financial crises. What are the recession-proof jobs in 2009-2010?

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Jobs are disappearing daily all over the world. The news media is reporting hundreds of job cuts and giving gloomy forecasts. The International Labour Organization (ILO) predicts that 20 million jobs, mostly in construction, real estate, financial services, and the automobile sector, will disappear by the end of 2009.

Are there any industries, where jobs will be stable throughout the current financial crisis?

If we compare the current recession to earlier ones like in 1981-1982, 1990-1991 and 2001 in the USA, we would see how some sectors did not lose jobs and the number of jobs even grew in some.

Recession Proof Industries

  • Security – No matter how bad the financial crisis gets, the need for security shall not decrease. Jobs like firemen, police, law enforcement officers, customs and security services, forensics, and shop security personnel may even need more skilled personnel during the recession.
  • Healthcare – The need for skilled nurses, doctors, psychologists and psychotherapists, analysts, caregivers, medical assistants, physical therapists, home health aides, medical records staff and health information technicians will hardly decrease and may even grow during the recession.
  • Education – The need for trained teachers and some other skilled people in the core processes of the education industry in highly populated growth areas remain constant during recessions and will probably remain so now.
  • Personal Care – Barbers, hairdressers, beauticians and cosmetologists also could keep their jobs. Businesses in the upmarket range might lose customers but those who cater to downmarket needs will probably survive.
  • Legal Professions – Skilled professionals in the claims and compensation sectors, or those dealing with bankruptcies, and contractual disputes usually see more work during recessions.
  • Food Industry – People can’t give up eating even during a recession. Cheaper take-aways and eateries would need more staff ready to work at lower pay to function than luxury restaurants, which may not have enough customers.
  • House and Car Repairs – Skilled house repair servicemen like plumbers or electricians in densely populated areas didn’t lose their jobs during previous recessions. Though not many new houses are being built, emergency repairs are vital. We might drive older cars, but they need to be serviced and repaired. Cleaners will still be needed.
  • Environmental Sector – The demand for skilled professionals in environmental health and protection has been constant and is not likely to diminish during the recession.
  • Sales and Marketing – Business need to market more aggressively in hard times. Skilled marketing and salespeople working on commission pay basis would keep their jobs even during the recession days.
  • IT and Accounting Services – IT services need to function always. Skilled people working to provide accounting and IT-related services in core business functions would still be in high demand throughout the recession and more during the next upswing.

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Recession Prioritizes Spending Habits

However, there might be a redistribution of jobs. Some of these jobs will likely move from scarcely populated areas to high growth coastal areas. During recessions people usually prioritize their spending. This has often meant growth for the cosmetics industry. In tough times, people buy small cosmetic products to feel good quickly rather than more expensive products like TVs or cars.

Overall, business which depend on discretionary spending like entertainment, health supplements like vitamins, voluntary financial services or new houses will lose more jobs than businesses depending on compulsory spending like healthcare, food, childcare, primary education and security etc.

What Skills Employers Look For in Employees During a Recession


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Employers look for certain qualities or personal attributes in addition to the skills that you must have for a particular job. On the job skill sets and attributes are broadly:

1.     Personal skill sets and attributes

2.     Professional skill sets and attributes

3.     Social skill sets and attributes

read more in this article…

Some things have changed permanently. There is no going back in markets struggling to come out of the global recession. The skills you need to improve your marketability and recession-proof your job prospects or get a new job are very different from what many people think. Highly valued skills now are:

  • Compatibility with the Job

  • Organisational Cultural Malleability
  • Motivation and Purpose
  • Problem-Solving Ability
  • Dependability
  • Positive Personality

Read more about them here

Good luck with your job!

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User Comments
  1. Peter Day

    On February 9, 2009 at 4:53 am

    Cool. I was looking for something like this. It’s true that some jobs are not lost in this crisis. Hope it’s not mine.

  2. Katien

    On February 9, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Good points made. What you said about redistribution of jobs is going to cause a lot of problems – it is expensive to move.

  3. Mr Ghaz

    On February 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Excellent! Very informative article. Must read..hopefully, before mid of this year,..the end of this nightmare.. thanks for sharing.

  4. Leroy Altman

    On February 9, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    thanks for the article. very informative

  5. Denise Kawaii

    On February 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Great article. There are always certain areas of industry that continue to grow regerdless of the economic climate.

  6. nobert soloria bermosa

    On February 10, 2009 at 9:58 am

    nice stuff,

  7. Anonymous

    On February 10, 2009 at 11:17 am

    You say the IT can survive. But nowadays, people into programming, and networking with high experience level are being laid off. Companies Microsoft, CISCO, etc are cutting jobs. What do you think about this?
    What can students like us who are graduating in Computer Science can choose?

  8. Rana Sinha

    On February 10, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments. #7 I am not saying that everyone in the IT industry will automatically save their jobs. Far from this. What I mean by IT and accounting services is that organizations cannot just shut everything down and IT has become so ingrained in almost every sphere of human activity that we’ll always need some IT people. Now, which particular IT function is vital for the core functions of the organization and which ones are not depend on the industry and type of organization.
    As to what grads in computer sciences should chose – specialize in something that is closer to the core function of an organization. Another thing to remember is that organisations seem to have started to value multiskills in place of very narrow focus of expertise. All the best to you #7.

  9. Johny

    On February 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    well.. not really true about healthcare.. simply because of the fact that people who are affected by recession fails to maintain their health insurance. This leads to less patients in hospitals, thus the demand of nurses and other specialists if not doctors would be affected as the hospitals find it tough to pay their employees.

  10. Alba

    On February 11, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Good points. Of course it’s very difficult to say which jobs remain. But many things will change.

  11. skylite

    On February 12, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Great article, very nicely written

  12. PR Mace

    On February 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Good timely article. You are so correct. I am a nurse and we are very busy. I feel lucky to have a job.

  13. MichaelJoeKing

    On February 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Really useful. Yet another digg from me.xP

  14. BC Doan

    On February 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    These are fantastic ideas to remember!

  15. Cordin P

    On February 27, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Good. You are right. Some industries keep jobs, while other lose. In fact I suspect that many industries will even disappear.

  16. Estel Morgan

    On March 6, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Great ideas. Will definitely think about this more. This recession can’t be the end of the world. We have survived earlier ones.

  17. Restin M

    On March 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Good article. These thoughts are in the minds of millions now. Very timely and good.

  18. sp

    On April 5, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Not true #9.
    By law, all hospitals are legally required to treat patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Now in times like these, it is true that people avoid being seen by health professionals, but these people often get worse because of this, having to go to the ER. So all-in-all, no losses in that portion of the health sector.

  19. destiny

    On April 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    very good article do you think radiolagists and ultrasound techs will be open in 2010

  20. Rana Sinha

    On April 28, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments.
    “destiny” – Radiologists and ultrasound techs do very valuable and specialised work. Since healthcare will tend to grow and as sp pointed out, hospitals are legally required to treat patients, radiologists and ultrasound techs would continue to be in demand.
    Of course, smaller towns and communities might have budget problems and be tempted to curb non-business critical functions. Who knows if the great wise ones high up in the hierarchy deem the work of radiologists and ultrasound techs as non-business critical?

  21. Jonathan R

    On April 29, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Very good article with insight. Let’s hope this recession is soon over.

  22. RC

    On May 17, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    good post.

  23. P. Smith

    On May 28, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Great article. There are always jobs which survive hard times and will also survive this recession.

  24. Rafiq

    On June 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    How about telco? I pressume that spending on cell phones are likely to reduce during recession. Lower revenue for telco’s will definitely force them to cut down cost. However, I would like to hear more on recession effect on telco’s.

  25. K of Durham

    On June 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Law enforcement already laid-off some police officers. I think the only recession-proof job out there is Healthcare mainly Doctors and Nurses.

  26. K of Durham

    On June 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Law enforcement already laid-off some police officers. I think the only recession-proof job out there is Healthcare mainly Doctors and Nurses.

  27. K of Durham

    On June 25, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Law enforcement already laid-off some police officers. I think the only recession-proof job out there is Healthcare mainly Doctors and Nurses.

  28. K of Durham

    On June 25, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Law enforcement already laid-off some police officers. I think the only recession-proof job out there is Healthcare mainly Doctors and Nurses.

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  30. john

    On July 21, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I have been laid off 3 times in construction. I feel lethargic…

  31. Joyce

    On January 13, 2010 at 9:51 am

    This is a very informative article. I am so glad of the profession I have…I own a tractor trailer and usually gross $175,000.00. It is NOT a prefession for everyone. Being leased to a company that is doing VERY well helps too. Merchandise HAS to be moved from place to place and trucking companies are closing as fast as you can bat an eye. But the better to do companies who have planned for the future are grabbing up those closing companies, along with the freight contracts. Sometimes I am so busy I can hardly take a break to come home for a day or two. BUT the money is coming and on and regular basis. Trucking is a hard job when you have a family. In these times it is great to know I will have money coming in each and every week, with some weeks better than expected.


    On January 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I HAVE A THOUGHT FOR THIS RECESSION- “SAY- LETS START LENDING MONEY AT LOWER INTREST RATES THAT WOULD “SAY” APPLY TO “THOSE” NOT ON THE CONTRIBUTION LIST-LIKE SMALL BUSINESS, BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. GOV’T JOBS ARE ONLY RECESSION PROOF JOBS- A safe profession would be on the “inside ” of the friends one might have in “bohemian grove” after all they “decide” . no profession ,link, friend is a safe guard when, “they” controll the “banks”- myself- looking into selling camping tents- alot more are going to be out in the street before it clears-maybe i”ll have a cult following in tent’s -”like wood stock” jim jones out

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    On March 14, 2010 at 12:09 am

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  35. nope

    On March 31, 2010 at 8:51 pm


    not so much.

  36. nope

    On March 31, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    School districts are making budget cuts everywhere. They are laying teachers off, increasing class sizes, giving each teacher more students, and giving teachers less time to plan.

  37. rinnie

    On April 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    this article is so far off base
    retail? stores are closing left and right
    education? people loose jobs, homes, schools loose funds from taxes, my sister’s a teacher, they cut the bottom 10% before the 09-10 school year started and now are going for a second round and she lives in a WEALTHY district

  38. Andrea

    On April 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Education is a myth. Over 100,000 teachers have been laid off in the past year.

  39. JimmyO

    On May 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Its all well and good… to focus on “the industry”….but lets not forget something even more fundamental…..”the SKILL”……for instance…EVERY industry requires Accountants…

  40. gavin townsend

    On October 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Good article….

    Im a personal trainer who set up a business to help and assist other like minded trainers with their sales and marketing so hopefully being in the health care / personal well being / sales and marketing category i’m sure we’ll come out on top!! :)


  41. Vinod

    On October 24, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Raina: decent article, and I opine as ‘decent’ only because you listed every major industry.

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