5 Jobs That Are Most Vulnerable to a Recession

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As the U.S. looks like it could enter a recession, one might be concerned about job loss. During the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, unemployment rates rose as high as 9.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of those layoffs were in the tech and real estate sectors.

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But not everyone is in danger of losing their livelihood during periods of economic decline — which jobs are most at risk during a recession? Cheapism recently published a round-up of positions that could be at stake.

Big Tech

Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon have laid off more than 150,000 workers between the last quarter of 2022 and the first month of 2023, according to Forbes. A study by 365 Data Science, however, showed these cutbacks may not be a result of a recession, but rather automation and artificial intelligence innovations. Another reason behind the layoffs, data suggested, is that companies expanded their workforce during the pandemic. Now, they are cutting back to pre-pandemic numbers.

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While automation of some Human Resources processes led to cutbacks in tech, manufacturing jobs could be on the chopping block as robotics become more advanced, according to Cheapist.

Hospitality and Tourism

Just as the hospitality industry has begun to recover from the pandemic, recession fears could lead to a reduction in travel in 2023. Hospitality and tourism jobs could be at risk.

Arts and Entertainment

From movie theaters to Broadway plays, businesses related to arts and entertainment could be at risk during a recession. Like travel and hospitality, these industries have barely recovered post-pandemic — and another financial hit, right on the heels of the pandemic, could lead to layoffs and closures.

Retail Jobs

With spending down in a recession, brick-and-mortar stores might lay off workers. As with tech and manufacturing jobs, many retail positions are likely to replaced by automation. Many retailers have already cut their cashiers to a skeleton crew while introducing self-checkouts.

What To Do If Your Job is Vulnerable to a Recession

Even if you are in one of these industries, it won’t do any good to become paralyzed with fear about a recession. Instead, do your best to pay down debt and bolster your emergency savings. You might consider taking on a side gig so you can set money aside. If you lose your job, working a gig could affect your unemployment pay, so it’s better to work two jobs now and save money while you can.

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Take Our Poll: Do You Have a Second Job or Backup Plan in Case You Are Laid Off?
More: Will Your Home Lose Value in a Recession?

Polish up on your networking skills, perhaps by attending in-person meetings with groups in your community. Update your LinkedIn profile and your resume. You don’t want to let people know you’re looking for a new job. You just want to build relationships now so that if you do reach out, you already have established trust and friendship.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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