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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Depression Proof Jobs for a 20 Year Depression - Part 1: The Counter-Cyclical Jobs

The current economic downward spiral has prompted several SurvivalBlog readers to write me and ask: "My job is now at risk, so what are the safe jobs?" I've actually addressed this topic fairly well since I started SurvivalBlog in 2005. We ran a "best recession-proof jobs" poll, back in May of 2006. Then, in February, 2007, we ran a poll on "Best Occupations for Both Before and After TEOTWAWKI". Later, we even ran a poll on the current occupations of SurvivalBlog readers. In the past three years, we've also posted a panoply of more detailed employment-related letters and articles on subjects such as:

How to set up a home-based second business,

Bartering skills,

Home-based mail order businesses,

Small sawmills,

Gunsmithing,

Handloading ammunition,

Horse breeding,

Rabbit breeding,

Small machine shops,

Selling and bartering through Freecycle,

Selling and bartering through Craig's List, and

19th Century Trades.

And those were just the ones that I found in a cursory 10-minute search of the SurvivalBlog archives. There are many more. Just type a topic into the "Search Posts on SurvivalBlog:" box at the top of the right -hand bar. (We now have nearly 6,200 archived articles, letters, and quotes!)

Which Jobs Were Safe in the 1930s?

One good insight on the near future can be found in the past. (As Mark Twain said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.")

According to statistics published some 20 years ago by Dr.Ravi Batra, the safest businesses and industries during the worst years of the Great Depression (1929-1933) were:

Repair shops
Educational services (A lot of young men that couldn't find work borrowed money to go to trade schools and college.)
Healthcare services
Bicycle shops
Bus transportation
Gasoline service stations
Second hand stores
Legal services
Drug or proprietary stores

To bring Batra's list up to date, I would speculatively add a few more sectors and business that are likely to do well in the next depression:

Home security and locksmithing (since a higher crime rate is inevitable in bad economic times.)
Entertainment and diversions, such as DVD sales and rentals. People will undoubtedly want to escape their troubles!
Truck farming and large scale vegetable gardening (since just 2% of the population now feeds the other 98%--whereas back in the 1930s the US was still a predominantly agrarian society)
Export consumer goods. (Starting in late 2009 or early 2010, the US Dollar is likely to resume its slide versus most other currencies)

Tomorrow, I'll post Part 2 of this article, in which I will focus on home-based businesses.


Original: http://www.survivalblog.com/2009/02/depression_proof_jobs_for_a_20.html