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By Robert Rapier on Jan 24, 2008 with no responses

Recession-Proof Jobs

I sometimes get questions from people wondering what kinds of jobs will be safest in the future. I always recommend that people look for something that interests them in either the energy or health care field. I am not as familiar with the manpower issues in the health care field, but we have serious shortages in the energy sector.

This is also consistent with my investment strategy. I invest primarily in energy, health care, international stocks, and environmental companies. Today, Yahoo published an article that suggests that these sectors – plus the education and security sectors – are exactly where jobs will be safest from a recession:

Recession-Proof Jobs in 2008

John Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, told Yahoo! HotJobs that careers in the following fields may offer a good chance of weathering a storm this year.

* Education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has historically shown teaching to be relatively recession-proof. But demographics are important: High-growth areas like the Sun Belt offer much better prospects than the Rust Belt.

* Energy. “This is a major issue for the global economy, and jobs related to oil and gas, alternative energy and even nuclear are likely to see strong growth,” Challenger said.

* Health care. Almost half the 30 fastest growing occupations are concentrated in health services — including medical assistants, physical therapists, physician assistants, home health aides, and medical records and health information technicians — according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

* International business. “If you have a strong knowledge of other cultures, and an ability to work in another country, you’ll find plenty of opportunities,” according to John Challenger. “If you’re first generation Chinese, with business skills and Chinese language skills, you’re in good shape.

* Environmental sector. There is a huge and growing industry geared to combat global warming. “Not only will professionals with skills in sustainability issues be in demand through the end of the decade, we are likely to shortages of professionals with ‘green’ skills,” said Rona Fried, president of sustainablebusiness.com, a networking service for sustainable businesses.

* Security. “Crime doesn’t stop during a recession, and police officers, port security specialists and international security experts will continue to be in demand,” Challenger emphasized.

The article also warned that anything around the housing sector was a danger zone:

“The housing slump will touch anything related to housing, from real estate to investment banks, to engineering and architecture,” Koropeckyj said. Though public sector jobs grew at a fast clip in the last five years, state and local government jobs are likely to slow as home values, and, consequently, tax revenues, sink.

The housing slump could even extend to industries dependent on discretionary spending, like restaurants and retail, she indicated. Manufacturing, too, long in dire need of an upswing, is likely to keep waiting for one through 2008, Koropeckyj said.

People are going to need energy, even though they may despise the people that provide it for them. They are going to need health care. Find an interest in those fields, and you should have a relatively stable job.