We all know the economy has been hit hard due to COVID-19. Social distancing has left many non-essential workers in the lurch and wishing they had recession proof jobs.
In fact, Goldman Sachs now estimates unemployment will touch 15% when all is said and done. Even when the panic subsides, it’s not clear how long things will take to go back to normal. We could be facing a prolonged recession.
In times like these, it’s natural to wonder who’s safe and who isn’t. In case you’re thinking of changing careers, let’s take a look at 10 jobs that are recession proof. (Or, at least, as recession proof as it’s possible to be…)
1. Funeral Services
These are morbid times, so we may as well start on a morbid note.
They say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. People don’t stop dying just because we’re in an economic down-turn. Bodies still need to be cremated, families still need to mourn, graves still need to be dug.
If you have a decent coffin-side manner, there’s no more comfortable industry to find yourself in during a recession.
2. Accountants and Financial Services
We may as well talk about that second certainty, too: taxes.
Tax day may have been pushed back in America as a result of the ongoing crisis, but it will come sooner or later.
In the meantime, there are plenty of people who need to talk to their accountants and financial advisors about how best to survive this volatile market. You can bet financial advisors are doing a brisk business working from home. That’s why it’s one of our recession proof jobs.
3. Grocery Store Workers
If there’s one thing this crisis has taught us, it’s the importance of the people who stock and sell us food. They really are essential workers, even if they’re not all paid like it. That’s why they’re still out there on the front lines, interacting with the public all day every day, hoping against hope not to get sick.
It may not be the most glamorous line of work, but it’s definitely recession proof. We all need to eat, and it’s thanks to these folks that we continue to do so.
4. Health Care Professionals
Let’s set aside the COVID crisis for a moment. In any recession or time of strife, health care providers are more or less guaranteed to keep their jobs.
You don’t get to choose when you get sick, when your son breaks his arm, when your daughter gets a cavity. Health care is another essential service, one people are loath to skip out on. In many cases, failing to seek medical attention can be life-threatening.
These folks are basically doctors for your car.
It’s true people may hold off on getting new leather seats installed if there’s a recession. But the bulk of the auto body business is performing essential maintenance. Recession or no recession, you still need to get that oil change, fix your brakes, have a functioning transmission.
Perhaps this is why so many people traditionally distrust mechanics. Their services are not optional, and unless you know a lot about cars yourself, you’re pretty much at their mercy.
6. IT Workers
IT workers often find their jobs threatened by outsourcing — even in relatively good times.
However, those who possess unique skills are essential to their companies. We live in a digital world, where information is more valuable than gold. This new economy can’t be completely torpedoed by one recession. Therefore, the specialists who make it tick are basically indispensable.
7. Public Servants
By this we mean everyone from judges to beat cops to librarians. Anyone who gets their pay-check from the government, whether federal, state, or municipal.
The income ceiling tends to be a little lower in the public sector, but the jobs tend to be safer. No city is going to gut its fire department because the Dow Jones is falling. Prisons, libraries, schools: all these institutions have to keep functioning. They may face cutbacks in the fact of declining tax revenues, but the government never goes out of business.
This one may be a little bit surprising. Sure, people don’t skip their own trips to the doctor, but what about Fido?
It turns out he’s treated like part of the family too. Most pet-owners refuse to cut vet visits out of their budget, even when the economy is flagging. In fact, during the great recession of 2008 and beyond, almost half of vets reported receiving an increase in business.
You can’t put a price on a furry friend.
9. Marketing Gurus
Here’s another one that may seem surprising. If companies are looking to cut expenditures, you would think marketing would be the first department to get the axe.
Not so — assuming the marketing folks are doing their jobs. Marketing drives revenues. The whole point is to get a return above and beyond your investment. So when times get tough, slashing your marketing budget will slash your revenues. You can’t afford to do it.
Now, this COVID slump may be a unique case. Because so many people are out of work, deprived of discretionary income, and because so many people are simply staying at home, ad spending may decline for the foreseeable future.
But in your garden variety recession, competent marketing professionals are a prized commodity. They enable companies to fight for their share of the market and hopefully live to fight another day.
The law is eternal. It never sleeps, and those who practice it will always be in some kind of demand.
In particular, bankruptcy lawyers clean up during recessions. The reason is both sad and obvious: more people are going bust.
You might think divorce attorneys would rake in the cake too during rough times, as financial pressures tend to strain relationships. The jury is still out on that one.
Nevertheless, there’s always someone out there in the market for an attorney who’s willing to pay that retainer fee. Rain or shine, court is in session. Hence, one of our recession proof jobs.