By Angela Rose, Hcareers.com
The economic definition of ‘recession’ is a limited period of economic contraction. While that doesn’t sound very scary, recessions - or even the threat thereof - often result in proverbial belt tightening across industries. According to CNNMoney, The Great Recession, which economists say officially ended in June 2009, resulted in the loss of 7.9 million jobs. Fortunately, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show only 454,000 of those were in the leisure and hospitality supersector.
Unfortunately, recovery of the U.S. economy has been sluggish of late, and some are predicting a second recession should Congress fail to reach a budget agreement before the end of the year. If this occurs, it is possible that businesses and corporations will again tighten their belts, eliminating employees who perform non-essential functions or duties that other positions may easily absorb. While the hospitality industry isn’t immune to these cuts, there are jobs which seem to be more recession proof than others. Here’s our list of the top five:
If you’re a people-oriented individual who is comfortable engaging customers while working in a fast-paced environment, you might enjoy a recession proof career as a bartender within a hotel, resort or casino. Because the position requires fairly extensive training and a certain personality, other foodservice employees cannot easily absorb the duties of the role.
2. Front Desk
Hotels and resorts are dependent upon guests for the revenue that keeps them in business. Happy guests return; unhappy ones do not. Friendly and efficient front desk staffers are required to maximize the experience of visitors. They are the first and last representatives a guest encounters. We consider this position recession proof because it is so essential. Inadequate staffing at the front desk would impact the hotel’s bottom line—and that’s something no manager wants to risk during a recession.
Remember those happy guests we mentioned earlier? Well, they like clean rooms, fresh sheets and plenty of towels on demand as well. While housekeeping staff may interact directly with guests much less often than the front desk does, their role is equally essential in maintaining the reputation of the hotel and the satisfaction of visitors. The larger the establishment, the greater the cleaning workload—and the smaller the opportunity for recession-stimulated layoffs.
4. Gaming Services
Card dealers, game runners, slot machine attendants and other gaming services employees need to remain sharp and aware at all times, whether they’re running surveillance, handling money and chips or interacting directly with players. This means these positions have little room for job consolidation. If a casino has 22 games on the floor, 22 operators are required—there’s no way around it. This makes gaming services a recession proof career.
5. General Manager
Middle management and assistant management positions are often at risk during a recession, regardless of industry, because these professionals are some of the easiest to eliminate. Their roles may almost always be absorbed, albeit inconveniently, by the operation’s general manager. However, this makes the job of general manager a recession proof one.
While these jobs are among those we consider the most recession proof in the leisure and hospitality supersector, the industry as a whole is doing well. Hospitality employers have continually added jobs throughout the economic recovery, and the predictions for future job growth, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and others, are excellent.
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About the Author
Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for Hcareers.com.