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The Six Most Recession-Proof Businesses

Most Americans surveyed by a 2008 Fortune Magazine poll believe the economy in the United States is on a downward spiral. They agree if a recession isn't here already, it soon will be.

Teacher and student

Teachers enjoy a relatively stable job market, no matter what the economy is doing.

The poll of 1,000 Americans found that:

  • 18 percent are somewhat worried about losing their job in the next year, and 8 percent are very worried

  • 65 percent believe U.S. economic conditions are getting worse

  • 57 percent believe the United States is heading into a recession in the next 12 months

  • 48 percent have been cutting back their spending in the past 12 months

  • 15 percent have not been able to keep up with their credit card payments, and 9 percent have not been able to keep up with their mortgage, rent or other loan payments

In the midst of such tumultuous times, layoffs, unemployment and financial hardship are top worries on people's minds.

"No question that if the economy goes into recession, or is already in it, unemployment and job security are going to get worse," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a consulting firm that provides outplacement services for executives and middle mangers in an ABC News article.

"The risk of layoffs will grow and the number of layoffs will grow. That means often you can get caught without a job through no fault of your own," he continued.

foreign relations

If you can speak a foreign language, have a lot of knowledge about another culture, or have a desire to work in another country, your skills will be in demand, even during a recession.

But, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and in the case of a recession, the following jobs are it, Challenger told Yahoo! HotJobs. These are the businesses that will thrive no matter what the economy is doing, quite simply because they provide services that society in general cannot go long without.

  1. Health Care: Health services occupations including medical assistants, home health aides, physical therapists and medical records technicians account for close to half of the 30 fastest growing occupations.

  2. Education: Teaching is generally immune to a shaky economy, particularly if you're teaching in an area with a high growth rate, such as the South and Southwest.

  3. Energy: Anything related to alternative fuel sources, oil and gas and other energy sources will likely flourish in coming years.

  4. Environmental: If you have "green" skills in sustainability and other environmental issues, you will be in demand.

  5. Security: Police officers, international security experts and others who fight crime will still be in need even if the economy turns sour.

  6. International Business: Working in another country, or simply being an expert about another culture or language, will work to your advantage during a recession.

If you currently feel your job is in jeopardy, or you're looking for work, don't despair -- remember that certain skills, like dedication and perseverance, will always be in demand.

"I think there will always be opportunities for people who want them. If you're hardworking, if you're persistent, if you keep your skills current with today's marketplace ... you'll be fine," said Cathy Paige, vice president and general manager of employment service Manpower's Northeast division. "The world is always looking for hardworking, good employees."

Recommended Reading

How to Find Your Dream Career: 11 Key Steps

Why Returning to College After Age 30 (Age 40, 50, Etc.) Might Be Just The Right Choice For You


ABC News January 23, 2008

Yahoo Hotjobs

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