Which jobs are safe(r)

On the hunt? Consider these lines of work

If you’re facing unemployment, either from your boss’s decision or one you need to make on your own, this is a scary job market to enter. How do you know where to look?

There are help-wanted ads, of course, and employment services such as Staff Resources and Rush Personnel. To determine what jobs will last, research is key; Google phrases like “safe industries in a down economy” and “businesses that thrive in a recession” for insight.

In general, advised Staff Resources’ Marisa Smiley, “look for alcohol and mashed potatoes over I.T.—industries that don’t shift in hard times because they’re what people want and need. People like to drink. Women will scrimp and save to get their hair done. People need to see the doctor.”

Don’t only look to history, though; look to forward-thinking enterprises, such as businesses that are expanding their product lines or an entrepreneurial effort that’s in sync with the times (such as a sector covered by the federal stimulus package).

Chicoans, Smiley said, should check out “socially responsible companies. That’s people’s mind-set, particularly in this community: green and conservation.” That dovetails with overarching advice: “Look for where the paradigm has shifted.”