Payscale Data Reveals Which Jobs Will Survive a Potential Recession in 2023

  • The “recession proof” jobs with the fastest-growing wages include a mix of blue-collar and white-collar roles still reeling from the aftermath of COVID-19 and the Great Resignation; these in-demand positions are earning up to 30% more pay than last year.

  • The jobs with the highest number of employees submitting their two week notice (up 19% for some positions) are roles that went remote during the pandemic; implying employees are fed up with return-to-office mandates and are still struggling with increased hours and burnout.

Payscale the leading provider of compensation data, software and services, released its 2022 End of Year Hot Jobs Report. The report ranks the jobs that will be least impacted by a recession, as well as the roles employees are most likely to quit—or “quiet quit”—based on Payscale’s employee-reported data from more than 1.1 million U.S. workers.

“Despite the possibility of an economic downturn, the labor market remains tight, forcing employers to pay top dollar to attract and retain talent for the most sought-after roles,” commented Lexi Clarke, VP of People at Payscale. “We’re also seeing a slew of resignations from jobs that have forced employees back to the office, suggesting that workers have made workplace flexibility an ultimatum they refuse to give up—and they’re not deterred by recent layoff reports.”

The majority of roles featured in the report represent jobs that were particularly challenging to staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and today’s volatile labor market. Additionally, the top positions with the most job security are experiencing wage increases in the double digits, despite a possible recession looming.

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The top ten recession proof jobs for 2022 include:

  1. Waiter/Waitress (30% wage growth): Restaurants were one of the hardest hit industries while the population sheltered-at-home and many service workers found jobs in other sectors after they were let go, making it harder for restaurants to regenerate their workforce ​​without making compensation more competitive.
  2. Private Banker (25% wage growth): With soaring inflation, a plunging stock market, and the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies, ultra-high-net-worth individuals are seeking advice on what to do with their assets, which means wages for these private wealth managers are increasing.
  3. Media Director (23% wage growth): Advertising is relevant for most businesses, but many industries completely depend on it—and that means finding skilled professionals with strategic thinking and tactical know-how is extremely competitive.
  4. Police, Fire, or Ambulance Dispatcher (19% wage growth): Between an escalation of wildfires, a pandemic, a national increase in crime, and scrutiny of police brutality, it’s been tougher to attract and retain people for these emergency response positions.
  5. Sales Consultant (18% wage growth): Sales strategy is especially critical in the current economy, where revenue has been subject to a volatile stock market and the vanishing value of the dollar due to inflation.
  6. Microbiologist (16% wage growth): Given the spotlight on vaccine development after the impacts of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that microbiologists are on this list.
  7. Marketing and Business Development Director (16% wage growth): Strategic marketing roles are responsible for pushing products and services, as well as growing business opportunities, proving to be especially essential as organizations work to bounce back from pandemic losses.
  8. Dock Worker (15% wage growth): Without dock workers, the entire port system shuts down, wreaking havoc on the supply chain. The importance of moving cargo safely and efficiently commands good wages that keep up with inflation.
  9. Electrocardiogram (EKG) Technician (15% wage growth): As cardiovascular disease rates continue to rise in the U.S., the need for frontline healthcare workers who can operate an EKG machine has grown.
  10. Installation Technician (15% wage growth): A job in the electric, HVAC, and plumbing trades can be lucrative for hard workers without a college degree, especially those with a niche skill learned from years of experience on the job.

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The report also analyzed the jobs people are most likely to resign from. This included senior customer service representatives, software development managers, creative directors, manufacturing production managers, public relations specialists, human resource specialists and assistants, and more. The majority of workers in these roles have been thriving remotely since 2020, but many are now being asked to return to the office.

“Workplace flexibility has been shown to improve employee satisfaction, so rescinding this perk can be a major factor in employees’ decisions to resign,” added Clarke. “Additionally, those that may still be working remotely are susceptible to the growing prevalence of burnout as work-from-home employees are increasingly expected to be available 24/7. Workers who remain in these positions (for now) are dissatisfied, and are likely to be “quiet quitting.”

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