How’s Business? Recession-proof jobs

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Are we in a recession? The unemployment rate was 5.1 percent with 80,000 layoffs in March. We are in a mortgage crisis and the real estate market is at an all-time low. An 800-pound gorilla like Bear Stearns is out of business and stock portfolios have mostly broken about even over the last decade. I would say we are headed for our first recession in about 16 years.

Recessions hit some job seekers hard because many people cannot go for their first choice in a down economy. Necessity, however, is invention's mother, so some employment sectors will remain strong.

According to the U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau, teaching appears safe and recession-proof. If your field is related to oil, gas or energy, there are signs of economic growth, so making it in those arenas appears secure. Health care is strong, with that industry accounting for almost half of the 30 fastest-growing occupations, like medical assistants, physical therapists, home health aides and registered nurses.

Opportunities abound if you can work in another country, especially if you are first-generation Chinese with business and Chinese language skills. Crime, however, is often worse during a recession. Law enforcement and port security specialists will continue to be in demand.

So How's Business in a recession? Mostly, we have lived beyond our financial means for a greater part of the millennium. Now our economy is flattening out. If history has taught us anything, however, then the financial storm will pass and markets will right themselves over time. For now, though, industries reliant upon discretionary spending, like restaurants, will likely feel the imminent turbulent waters.

Reach Joe Palumbo at 516-248-0256 or

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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