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The 4 most ‘recession-proof’ industries to work in, according to economists

By | Morgan Smith |

Warnings about a looming recession have reached a fever pitch. Inflation continues to soar, causing chaos in the stock market, and companies are starting to prepare for the worst with layoffs, hiring freezes and, in some extreme cases, rescinding job offers

The sudden shift in labor market dynamics — after months of strong job prospects and rising wages for employees — has left many working Americans scratching their heads. 

“Job prospects are going to get much worse” in the next few months, Laurence Ball, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University, tells CNBC Make It. “The question is: ‘How much worse?’” 

If you’re thinking of changing roles soon, you should know that while no job is completely recession-proof, certain industries tend to fare worse than others during a downturn.

During the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, the construction and manufacturing sectors experienced sizable dips in employment, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s because during an economic downturn, people usually limit their discretionary spending and delay big purchases, including cars and new homes, says Karen Dynan, an economics professor at Harvard University and former chief economist at the U.S. Treasury. She predicts that these industries will see similar patterns if a recession were to occur soon.

Ball and Dynan say the most “recession-proof” industries that offer strong job security during economic downturns include:

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