There’s a reason why ‘economic cycles’ are called what they are. With COVID-19 causing various issues with the economy, we are reminded of the infamous recession of 2008. Lasting roughly two years, it was a devastating period for a lot of people; primarily the working class. It only makes sense that we ask the question of why there is a “cycle” and what drives it.
A slow-down, recession, or depression will inevitably follow any boom that occurs. As the old saying goes, “what goes up must come down.” Whenever the economy falters, you can bet that there will be an array of responses. Businesses cut unnecessary expenses and consumers tighten their belts. Even the government shows restraint in the hiring process.
In times such as this, everyone is worried and they want to know which jobs are going to save them. Which jobs will protect them from these economic ups and downs? Answering this, as one might expect, is difficult. It is a tough question because every profession and job position combination is unique. Put simply, there are no guarantees.
Consequences of economic collapse
A recession usually means that there are fewer job hirings and mass layoffs. And whatever jobs do remain, there is intense competition for the openings that were available. It can be cutthroat and one can hardly blame people for being competitive. It comes out of desperation, after all. Heck, even higher education degrees do not always guarantee job security; not in the way they once did anyway.
According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has risen to 14.7%. To elaborate, there has been an incredible loss of over 35 million jobs so far in 2020. Thanks to the epidemic, many are out of a job and have very few options.
The sad truth is not that many job sectors remain intact. The effects of a recession are different for each of us, but in the end, a recession impacts everyone. There is no guarantee for a job, but there are a few career fields that receive less of an impact. Some of them are essential for society to function normally. Therefore, regardless of what happens, someone always needs to be there to do them. It is, of course, a stretch to call these jobs “100% recession-proof.” Still, though, they are the closest we get to guaranteed job security in trying times.
1 – Medical and healthcare industry
A job in the medical field is a great place to work during a recession. Whether you are a nurse, doctor, physician assistant, or radiographer, your job is essential. Physical and mental health do not care about the economy and will make people sick no matter what. There will still be the birth of babies and appendixes will unexpectedly burst.
There are a wide variety of jobs and specialties within the healthcare industry. Registered Nurses (RNs), pharmacists, physicians, surgeons, paramedics, dentists, and dental assistants are vital. Even veterinarians fall into this category because animals will also get sick regardless of the economy. Be it a person or an animal, they will always need access to the professionals.
If you want maximum job security, careers in a hospital or clinic is an ideal choice. It doesn’t matter what is happening in the stock market or with GDP growth. People will get sick and there will be injuries that need to be taken care of. One can easily make the argument that this is the top recession-proof job field.
2 – Financial services
The movement of money is important, hence the reason why there is always a high demand for professionals in finance. The list of financial service jobs is long and incredibly diverse. Accountants, auditors, claims adjusters, tax preparers, actuaries, and insurance underwriters, among several others. There are a lot of positions that require professional certifications in order to apply for them. Examples include:
- Enrolled Agent (EA)
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
In both the good times and the bad, everyone will need to file a tax return at some point. Admittedly, they always have the option to prepare their tax return themselves using software like TurboTax or TaxAct. Be that as it may, plenty of taxpayers risk making mistakes that will cost more in higher taxes than that of hiring an accountant. The worst outcome is that their mistakes will go on to trigger an audit.
Auditors also see regular demand during recessions, and this demand is not just for IRS auditors. Publicly traded companies go through periodic audits and need to file quarterly financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
3 – Blockchain
If you’ve been keeping up with the world of tech and crypto, you might be familiar with blockchain technology. It is one of the newest innovations of the information age and is proving to be a very powerful tool.
A lot of people are aware that cryptocurrency is capable of being a dangerous investment to make. This is due to the fact that it is decentralized and receives little to no backing. Suppose the currency were to fold. Because of this lack of backing from a government guarantee or from business assets, you can’t recover anything.
This sounds terrible, no doubt, but there is actually a flipside. How can that be? Well, it is not necessarily tied to a specific government or business. Therefore, blockchain currencies are unlikely to tank if the economy or a random company slumps. In a volatile market, that is a huge – not to mention valuable – strength.
Moreover, there are two important remedies for a recession: innovation and adapting. In order to survive, you will need to adapt to whatever changes come your way. During the previous recession, there was the revolutionary creation of the micro-gig economy. As a result of this development, there was a boom in the e-commerce world. Technology is a crucial asset to both companies and individuals that are open to adapting accordingly.
Taking the importance of blockchain into account, it seems to be the right vehicle to help us in a recession. Is there any reason why it wouldn’t be? When you invest early, you will reap the benefits of that work before it even has a chance to occur.
4 – Education
Economic booms come and go, but the educational system always remains vital. Primary, secondary, higher, special, and adult education jobs are all highly relevant, no matter the economic climate. Those aspiring to enter this field should be aware of the shift in the way we deliver education. And this concerns more than just traditional classroom instructors. The fact is, new models of distance and on-demand education are gradually becoming more significant. With that in mind, a job in education can be versatile in location as well as the style of delivery.
The need for educators will never cease, whether it be for children or adults. K-12 education in particular will continue regardless of the occurrence of a recession. Classroom sizes will likely get bigger and yes, home learning may become more popular. However, as teachers with more experience retire and leave, there will always be a need for new teachers.
Teachers are among the most unionized professions. What’s more, they come with a long list of assurances pertaining to job security. Higher education professors can also receive various benefits like tenure, even if the economy is facing hardships.
5 – Public utility services
Events in the economy – good or bad – do not matter when it comes to waste management, electricity, and other utilities. There will always be a need for support personnel no matter what. These are key services for daily living, so it makes sense that there would be a high demand for them. This sector has a tendency to possess labor shortages as the labor force continues to age.
In the face of economic downturns, services in electricity, water, sewage, waste, trash, and recycling keep on thriving. They are, after all, very critical to the maintenance of public health. As a matter of fact, consultancies serving those utilities share that benefit, too. For example, there are plenty of cities that need to conduct annual audits of their trash-service providers. Consulting firms in charge of performing such audits also have work to do in a tough economy.
6 – Care providers, therapy, and counselling
This field shares some similarities to the medical field and is just as important. Think care for the elderly, physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and substance abuse counseling, among many others. People value their well-being and – more often than not – have it as their top priority. Because of this, they will typically invest in services that give them the opportunity to be productive and free of pain. Insurance covers a good number of these services, which in turn encourages people to use them. And yes, even when money is tight.
Jobs pertaining to assisted living facilities continue to increase as the population ages. This demand also applies to in-home care aides. During a recession, this remains constant. Everything from transportation services to nursing assistants and home health aides is vital during economically trying times.
7 – Delivery services
Recently, you may have noticed a lot of stores closing their doors. In light of these closures, online shopping has seen a dramatic increase in popularity and usage. There are plenty of reasons why, but the epidemic is obviously one of the key factors. With a lot of people shopping online, there obviously needs to be people to deliver these goods.
Nowadays, home delivery can extend to a lot of things. These include meal preparation kits, groceries, household items, and alcohol. Businesses who made the transition to working from home will often use courier services, too.
While there are plenty of jobs that could survive a recession, there are others that can’t. In fact, they are the worst jobs you could possibly have during an economic downfall.
First and foremost, there are motor vehicle sales. When you are trying to be careful with how you spend your money, you need to hold off purchasing certain things. Companies that sell RVs, boats, and motorcycles experience a noticeable decline in sales. Likewise, car dealerships struggle to sell their products. During a recession, people invest more in auto repairs instead of buying or leasing new vehicles.
Even in a tough economy, some families will still go on vacation. However, during a recession, those vacations suddenly appear rather different. An economic downturn will inspire people to stay local; take a “staycation,” if you will. Exotic destinations, fancy hotels, and fun excursions will undergo a serious decline. There are times when even traveling for business takes a critical hit because professionals search for budget-friendly alternatives.
It is normal for businesses to eliminate non-essential expenses during periods of budget cuts. Various services like data imaging, bookbinding, and business card printing suffer a downturn in demand. Large-scale print shops typically have high equipment costs, thus they don’t have a lot of room to cut expenses. Labour cost management by way of layoffs is one of the very few ways they can survive.