Who Hires During a Recession?

The economy appears to be in recession, and while most industries are shedding jobs, consumer debt councilors, conservation consultants and green energy suppliers have ramped up hiring, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The Monitor also points out that the leading edge of the recession overlaps with the start of the baby boomer retirement wave. This has sparked a government hiring binge as Uncle Sam scrambles to replace outgoing workers.

Who else hires during a recession?

Private security firms. They’re seeing a spike in demand these days, according to the Indianapolis Star.


I'd think pet food declines, given that replacing and consideration of adding new pets means increased expenses and some will decide it's not worth the money. Others may switch to cheaper pet food.

How about religion? Tougher times might make people look elsewhere for "meaning to life" - maybe religion benefits on poorer times...


"Private security firms. They're seeing a spike in demand these days."
This is not a totally "fresh" phenomenon - it started a number of years ago.
I would recommend a decade or so "old" book "Carrot and Stick" (unfortunately finished not by the author) which discusses the issue of removing a "carrot" from American workplace, caused by the decline of unions, among other factors. When a "carrot" is removed, there is a need for a bigger stick, and many more sticks - layers of management and security are added. Congratulations, Americans.
There are probably other, more recent books, but I haven't followed.
Think ... when prestigious non-profit institutions in New York need to throuw out this or that Ph.D. (too competent, too independent), security officers
(or occasionally, POLICE -!) are soooo handy. Ask the Ph.D.s.
Of course, collection agencies are hiring now.
Once again, congradulations, congratulations.
We're progressing ...
Oh my beloved sarcasm - so useful these days in the land of Bush and his people.



The govt., they're always hiring, and taxing, and spending. ;-(


IT. Every recession I see a increased demand for work. This one has been no different. This year has a good chance of being my best year ever.


John- people had been complaining about the high dollar hurting exports for most of the Bush Administration, so when the dollar started falling those people hoped that it would help. However expanding export business would require affordable financing that is currently unavailable.


booze and pet food.
alcohol usage will go up and even in the most dire times people will still care for the pets...unless they end up eating them.


Where's all those manufacturing jobs created by the boom in exports? From what I remember, the plummeting value of the dollar was supposed to be good for exports, and thus good for the economy...and somehow Americans would be the beneficiaries of all that weak dollar-exporting goodness.

Or was that just a rationalization to keep the suckers quiet for another four years?


Bankruptcy Lawfirms--business booms during recessions and stinks during a growth period.


The rise of the pawn shop and thrift store has been mentioned on this blog before; one can safely assume that existing ones may expand, and new ones will pop up, and in either case require staff.

There will also be expanded/new "marginal lending" outfits (payday lenders, etc.), which again require added/new staff.

If retail failures and store closings continue, inventory liquidators will pick up apace, too.

Those are the more significant trends I see. Among the more marginal ones: sales of conversion kits allowing people to drive cars/trucks on discarded frying oil instead of gasoline; increased sales of ultra-small vehicles (mopeds, etc.); recycling companies specializing in reclaiming metals from things like electronics.

Glossolalia Black

My job working for a city org helping poor people pay to pay their electric and heating bills seems to be solid...


Rem is right. I used to work for an economic consulting firm that worked with lawyers who usually represented big businesses. I imagine there are tons of lawsuits that will come from this recession (All happy people when things are good; all plaintiffs when things - the same things - went bad).

David Damore

Almost all firms & industries hire and replace employees all the time [recession or not].

People are fired [need to be replaced], people quit [need to be replaced], business is growing [more people need to be recruited and hired].

In the instance of a business liquidating, everybody loses their jobs and no one is hired.

Every few months I get calls/emails from mortgage firms looking to hire me [it is not my industry and I see it as an unappealing option].
Almost every firm and industry is hiring all the time.

Airlines might be an exception to the rule.

If there is an HR person in the airline industry reading this post... How do you see it?

GWU Econ

I'm about to graduate with a degree in econ and math. Anyone want to hire me?


Accountants! They are always in demand... good times, or bad. Too bad I'm in marketing.


Off-price retail companies (Marshalls, TJMaxx etc.) also weather recessions well.


Mechanics! People aren't buying new cars, so they need to keep their clunkers going.


I'm seeing the beginning of the government hiring binge firsthand. My husband works for a national lab, and the average age of the employees is around 60. A lot of baby boomers who have worked there for decades will be retiring soon, so the lab is going to have to find new lab technicians, engineers, and physicists - all very specialized posts and not easy to fill.


I saw an article recently (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/25/fdic-plans-staff-boost-fo_n_93370.html) saying the FDIC was going to be hiring about 150 people in the anticipation of bank failures.


Demand for health care and mortuaries should be fairly steady, although high end funeral services may suffer.


Video Games, Movies, and maybe Music. In a dreary recession, with people out of work or earning less and less, escapism has a powerful pull.