Who Gets Laid Off In A Recession

The economic pain in the next downturn will be completely different from that of the coronavirus recession. White-collar office workers should be worried.

A growing number of economists expect at least a mild recession to materialize in 2023, and signs point to it resembling the downturn of the early 1990s. That slump saw white-collar — or high-income office workers — face a heightened risk of job loss while those in blue-collar sectors like mining and manufacturing generally fared much better than in previous recessions.

William Lee, chief economist at the Milken Institute, previously told MarketWatch, that the recession would mostly be “a white-collar recession,” adding that “the blue-collar recession will not be in the same places that we saw in the past.”

Lee added to Insider that blue-collar workers like truck drivers used to be the “most vulnerable workers” but “office workers have always been considered protected.”

“The changes in business models and the adoption of software has really changed the landscape of the groups that will be the most vulnerable,” Lee said.

For instance, he said that a warehouse worker that can do “automated robotic retrieval and delivery” on a computer is in demand “because that blue-collar worker is now a very skilled worker.”

Top 6 best recession-proof jobs

There are many jobs and specialties within the medical profession. Registered Nurses (RNs), pharmacists, physicians, surgeons, paramedics, dentists, dental assistants, and even veterinarians all fall within this category. People and animals get sick regardless of the economy, so they always need access to qualified professionals who can help.

Become a Corporate Citizen

Eighty percent of success is showing up. To become a corporate citizen:

  • Attend all voluntary and informal meetings and corporate outings.
  • Get out of your office and walk the floor to see how people are doing.
  • Get on board with new initiatives; for example, by volunteering to lead a newly formed team crucial to your company’s recovery strategy.
  • In a troubled economy, job eliminations and hiring freezes seem almost routine, but when your own company’s woes start to make headlines, it all hits home. Intellectually, you understand that downsizing isn’t personal; it’s just a law of commerce, but your heart sinks at the prospect of losing your position. While you know that passivity is a mistake, it’s hard to be proactive when your boss’s door is always closed, new projects are put on hold, and your direct reports look to you for reassurance. Don’t panic. Even though layoff decisions may be beyond your control, there’s plenty you can do.

    Following the best advice is no guarantee that you won’t get laid off. That’s why you need a plan for handling a job loss.

    The first key to moving on successfully is self-awareness. You’ll have better luck finding a new job if you know what you’re good at and what you’d really like to do, so it’s wise to invest mental energy now in figuring those things out. If you have results from a Myers-Briggs test or a 360-degree assessment, revisit them to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Read self-help books to inspire your thinking, or perhaps even hire an executive coach. (Just make sure to get references and agree on fees before you start with any coach.)

    Don’t wait till you get laid off to update your résumé. Revise it now, so that you’ll have it ready when you start approaching headhunters, former bosses and colleagues, and industry contacts for job referrals and advice. It’s a good idea to begin networking with those folks now, in fact, but don’t stop there. Reach out to the neighbor who’s the CFO of a successful company, and dig out the old business cards from your drawer and add those names to the list of those you’ll call.

    Finally, think creatively about your future. Perhaps you want to go back to school, start your own business, join a smaller firm, or become a minister. That may require some downsizing of your own, but as Ellen, a consultant, told us: “Now that the kids are grown, my husband looks at the house and says it’s too big for the two of us. I’m willing to scale back. Both of us want to do different things.” Who knows, maybe plan B will actually be more attractive than plan A.

    That’s what we’ve observed in numerous layoffs over the years and in research on how people respond to stressful work conditions. (Author Janet Banks oversaw a dozen downsizings as a vice president in human resources at Chase Manhattan Bank and a managing director at FleetBoston Financial. Author Diane Coutu studied resilience during her time as an affiliate scholar at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.) We’ve seen that while luck plays an important role, survival is most often the result of staring reality in the face and making concrete plans to shape the future. Machiavellian as it may seem, holding on to your job when the economy softens is a matter of cool strategic planning. In our experience, however, even the savviest executives are ill-prepared to deal with job threats. Here’s what you can do to keep your career moving and minimize the chances that you’ll become a casualty.

    5 worst jobs to have in a recession

    The construction industry is highly dependent on the health of the economy. When access to business and personal lending becomes tight, construction projects get put on hold. Even smaller-scale home remodeling projects can see delays. This affects all contractors, such as general contractors, roofers, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Supporting industries, like lumber and cement manufacturing, see a negative ripple effect as well.

    A new leather couch, a gorgeous wool rug, or a stunning chandelier — these beautiful touches make your home special. Unfortunately, they are not as urgent as paying your electric bill. Putting food on the table, or buying your kids new shoes to replace the ones they have outgrown will win over a new dining room set as well. In an uncertain economy, people hold off on making large purchases, which affects furniture and home furnishing stores.

    How to Spot and AVOID getting Laid Off During a Recession (2022)


    Do people get laid off in a recession?

    While every recession varies in terms of length, severity and consequences, we tend to see more layoffs and an uptick in unemployment during economic downturns. Accessing the market for credit may also become harder and banks could be slower to lend, because they’re worried about default rates.

    Who suffers the most during a recession?

    Retail, restaurants, and hotels aren’t the only businesses often hurt during a recession. Automotive, oil and gas, sports, real estate, and many others see heavy declines during times like these.

    What jobs are most at risk during a recession?

    Retail, restaurants, hotels and real estate are some of the businesses often hurt during a recession. While such services “may enhance our quality of life, they’re not necessary to maintain our basic standard of living,” Kantenga says.

    What jobs are not affected by the recession?

    Although there’s no guarantee that any job is safe during economic uncertainty, examples of stable, “recession-proof” jobs include medical professionals, legal professionals, and grocery workers. If you’re considering career options, it’s a good idea to factor in the economy’s effect on the field you choose.

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