back to blog

Recession-Proof Jobs in 2023

recession-proof jobs

After months of bracing for it, many experts say a recession is bound to hit by September and may last longer than usual. So, we felt it was time for another post about recession-proof jobs.


Payscale recently unveiled a list of its top recession-proof jobs based on wage growth. Some of our favorites include sales consultant, marketing director, machine operator, and auditing clerk. Skillpoint singles out the roles of software developer, office manager, delivery driver, bookkeeper, IT support specialist, systems analyst, and machinist as having a better chance of weathering the storm than others. And Zdnet is betting on accountants, financial analysts, and operations research analysts.

But don’t get caught up in job titles and wage growth estimates. So many other factors are at play, including whether your company and your fit at that company can withstand a recession.


Last summer, we looked closely at how a recession may affect Austin jobs. We found opinions from local experts that include these two perspectives:

  • Austin jobs may not be as negatively impacted by a national recession as other areas in the country, Michael Brandl, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told KXAN.“This is because there is a continued influx of people coming to Austin, a growing tech sector, a robust real estate market and job creation due to more people relocating to the area,” Brandl explains.
  • Luis Torres, a senior business economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, agrees. He told the Stateman he wouldn’t be surprised if economic activity in the Austin area decelerates as the U.S. economy loses steam. However, given how strong the local economy has been, he expects it to be a far cry from an actual downturn. “Austin will definitely continue to do well and probably outperform the national economy, buoyed by a flood of companies that have been relocating or expanding in the area,” the Stateman reports Torres saying.

That said, a recession is a recession—Austin is not immune. To find reasonably recession-proof jobs, keep an eye on companies that continue to move to and grow in Texas and the industries highlighted above. We also have this tips about Austin careers without a college degree.


Gigs like driving for Uber or DoorDash are popular ways to pay the bills during job slumps, but be careful about relying on them as recession-proof jobs. Bank of America Securities analysts predict that Uber, DoorDash and Lyft could see hundreds of thousands of new gig workers because of recession fears. We’re talking about a potential 450,000 new drivers for Uber and 600,000 new couriers for DoorDash and Uber Eats. That boost, though, comes with potentially terrible news for gig workers: Because of the expected rise in supply, Uber, Lyft and DoorDash could reduce their incentives by as much as 25% to boost their take rates.

More traditional contract work, contract-to-hire arrangements and temporary jobs can be a better way to maintain a paycheck while upskilling or reskilling for a permanent job, even during a downturn. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics studied temporary staffing during the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 and found that temp agencies tend to add jobs several months before the overall labor market recovers from recessionary periods.

“When the economy expands, employers are able to ramp up quickly by using temporary workers until permanent staff are hired,” the study authors write. “Also, temporary help agencies offer flexible staffing, candidate screening, and the opportunity to try out potential hires before committing to a permanent employment contract…Temporary help jobs are widely viewed as an important port of entry to permanent employment from the candidate’s perspective and a flexible staffing tool for employers.”

Here’s more from a previous post about contract work opportunities rising in 2023. And don’t discount the temp-to-hire (or contract-to-hire) arrangements when it comes to recession-proof jobs. We explain more about temp-to-hire arrangements here.