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Top 5 Recession-Proof Industries

Hamsa Ramesha | HRPeople

March 12, 2010

4. Food Manufacturing

A bad economy doesn’t mean we cut back on food — especially comfort food. The food manufacturing industry includes meat preparation, dairy products, farming, bakeries, confectionary products, food delivery, etc. Because demand for food is relatively stable no matter what state the economy is in, food manufacturing remains secure, though it can be impacted by short term conditions including animal diseases, weather conditions, and trade agreements, according to the BLS.

In addition, it can be easy to get a job as a food production worker (did you know they make up 54 percent of all jobs?), as you need little formal education or training.

States like Michigan, where the recession has left deep marks, managed to see a 12 percent growth in the agricultural food industry. Food manufacturing employment grew 2.6 percent in September for Oregon as well, when compared with September 2008.

People are also indulging in inexpensive sugary treats, which is why confectionary companies like Hershey’s are doing well. It makes sense; candy and chocolate are relatively cheap, but oh-so-yummy and comforting. Breakfast foods, like eggs and cereal that you can actually eat at any time of day, saw a rise in popularity — General Mills Inc. saw their second-quarter profit jump 50 percent in 2009 alone.

You may have heard of the spectacular growth by the nation’s biggest fast-food chain: McDonald’s. The Golden Arches definitely wins best-in-show for all-around growth, both in the U.S. and abroad, with their successful launch of McCafe coffee and new store openings (almost 600 in 2008!). Even though it’s well accepted that people eat out less and at home more in a recession, it worked in McDonald’s favor: when people do eat out, they eat cheap. I’m Lovin’ It.

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