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While there are millions of jobs available now, that could quickly change if the economy falls into a recession. When employers need to lower their overall expenses, one fast way to do so is to stop hiring or to lay off workers. Even though the nation is not currently in a recession, an extended period of decline in economic activity that impacts businesses and consumers alike, some high-profile companies such as Amazon, Meta (previously known as Facebook), Pepsi and Walmart already have announced thousands of layoffs.
Which types of jobs might dodge layoffs if the nation does experience an economic downturn? Payscale, a compensation data and software firm, recently analyzed its surveys of workers to find which ones have seen the largest salary increases in 2022. “These jobs can be considered ‘recession-proof’ because employers are spending more to fill these roles due to labor scarcity and increased competition,” the report says. “The jobs on the list tell a story, with a mix of essential service jobs and office jobs, where the opportunity to continue working remote is also part of what is driving the market.”
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The following 10 jobs, ranked in order of the largest 2022 salary increases, are pulled from Payscale’s list of recession-proof jobs. Clicking on the “find jobs” links will take you to a search of current openings in that field posted on the AARP Job Board.
Median wage: $9.57 per hour
Salary growth: 30 percent
Find waiter/waitress jobs
A recession likely would be less disruptive for restaurants than the first two years of the pandemic were. With fewer customers willing to eat and talk indoors around strangers, many restaurants switched entirely to takeout or delivery orders, a move that led to layoffs for many waiters. With appetites for dining out increasing, demand for skilled waiters and waitresses is bouncing back.
2. Police, fire or ambulance dispatcher
Median wage: $21.39 per hour
Salary growth: 19 percent
Find dispatcher jobs
No matter what’s happening with the economy, there will always be emergencies. Most 911 dispatcher jobs don’t require a degree, but you generally have to undergo a rigorous training program affiliated with the city, county or state agency you hope to work for. Many applicants also must pass an exam before they are hired.
3. Sales consultant
Median wage: $27.31 per hour
Salary growth: 18 percent
Demand for sales consultants currently is booming and could continue during an economic downturn. If employers decide to lay off some of their sales staff, consultants could help employers fill in the gaps. This field also offers opportunities for flexible contract work.