Opinion: The types of jobs to look for (and avoid) in a recession
But now that a recession is clearly looming, the window of opportunity for job seekers is slowly starting to close.
Official acknowledgment of the recession will, however, have to wait for a wider variety of data releases, as a recession is a vicious cycle of declining employment, income, production and sales which then trickles down into further decline in employment, etc. Additionally, the GDP number often goes through several revisions as the Commerce Department refines its calculations and new data becomes available.
It therefore makes sense that job seekers try to find jobs with companies that are less vulnerable to the difficulties of the economy. So where exactly should people look?
Thinking big means focusing on companies with products or services that people need day in and day out, even in a recession. This includes healthcare jobs like those in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices. Utilities and legal services are insulated from recessionary forces for similar reasons, as is education.
But within these broad categories, job seekers need to be discerning. The key is to avoid employers who offer products and services that cautious clients might choose to forego or postpone.
For example, while the healthcare industry is generally a safe haven during recessionary storms, elective cosmetic surgery providers are not recession-proof, as clients may decide to postpone procedures and d ‘other services. Another example is legal services, which are mostly recession-proof. But law firms that work on mergers and acquisitions will certainly see their business plummet during the bear markets of the recession.
For the most part, food and beverage companies are weathering the recession because people have to eat and drink. But even high-income households, faced with volatile stock prices and falling house prices, may choose to eat at home more often, meaning expensive restaurants could downsize or even close.
Again, the general rule is that businesses that rely on so-called discretionary spending are at risk during economic downturns. Busy airports this summer might make it hard to believe, but airline-related jobs, such as those in flight services and travel agencies, are at significant risk in the future. The same is true for jobs in amusement parks, gambling, entertainment and tourism, where consumers can choose to cut spending.
Construction jobs are notorious for their boom and bust cycles. And it’s not just those who work for homebuilders and real estate agents who suffer during real estate downturns. The same is true for workers in furniture and lighting, as well as in the appliance and consumer electronics industries.
Manufacturing jobs, especially those with manufacturers of capital goods, such as producers of industrial and heavy machinery, as well as jobs with suppliers who are forced to bear the brunt of changes in consumer demand, are particularly sensitive to recessionary currents. Manufacturers of automobiles and auto parts are particularly vulnerable, as well as manufacturers of communications equipment like modems and switches, and electronic components like displays and integrated circuits, including very early inputs like chips. semiconductor.
With a recession looming but jobs still plentiful, if you are unhappy with your job or work in an industry vulnerable to recession-related job losses, now is the time to start looking for a safer perch. . Strike when the labor market is hot, rather than after things have cooled down.