4 Recession Resistant Industries to Consider Before It’s Too Late

If you’re concerned about an impending recession, you’re not alone. Looking at Forbes’ website alone, there are over ten separate articles from just this January addressing a recession: will it happen? Won’t it happen? What will theoretically cause it? What can you do if it happens?

While some articles and outlets say the recession still looms and others say there’s nothing to worry about, we’re choosing to err on the side of caution by providing information on recession-resistant industries.

It’s hard to claim that any industry is recession proof, so instead, recession resistant is a better term. According to Investopedia, an “entity that is not significantly affected by recessions is considered recession resistant.”

“A recession resistant industry doesn’t mean a company won’t be affected during an economic downturn: it just means a company won’t drastically be affected.” Says Stephanie Staiano, National Sales Director, CSS Prosearch.

While people still need to consume products and services during a recession, many consumers are likely to change how they spend, meaning that while a company will still receive business in a recession, their revenue may come from different channels/products or they may receive less revenue than they would when the economy is doing well.

While each has caveats, the following industries are considered recession resistant:

Food and Beverage

When talking about the food and beverage industry, we are specifically referring to grocery stores and alcohol sellers. In a recession, eating/drinking out at restaurants drastically decreases as people choose to do this at home.

Recession Success: Flower Foods. Bakery goods manufacturer and powerhouse Flower Foods, with brands including Wonder Bread and Tastykake, experienced only a 2.6% decrease in sales during the Great Recession. This decrease was smaller than that of competitors and Flower Foods has continued to grow its dividends over the past 16 years. Flower Foods currently has 7 open sales positions in the United States.

Consumer Staples

People can’t do without personal hygiene and household products—which is why consumer staples is a recession resistant industry. While food and beverage can also be factored into consumer staples (as well as some pharmaceuticals), consumer staples typically includes products like deodorant, razors, tampons, soap, dish detergent, and paper towels/toilet paper—to name a few. This non-volatile industry keeps its head well above water in a recession.

Recession Success: Procter & Gamble (P&G). Procter & Gamble, a consumer staples company with many household names, held on strong throughout the Great Recession. P&G rose from $74,832 mil in annual sales to $79,257 mil from 2007 to 2008. Though dipping to $76,694 mil in 2009, the decrease in sales was small and the company completely recovered and surpassed 2008’s annual sales in 2011 with $81,116 mil. P&G currently has open Sales Account Executive positions in multiple locations.


During the last recession, tech was a thriving industry. Since we are even more reliant on technology now than we were in 2008, tech will likely remain resistant in the next recession. However, some products and services will fare better than others: consumers will likely favor the purchase of technology that we deem are necessities, such as phones, laptops, security software, home security products, and the like, but entertainment technology will likely remain steady or increase in sales.

Recession Success: Apple. Apple didn’t survive in the Great Recession, it thrived. Amidst economic turmoil, Apple released the iPhone 3GS, beat out competitors, hit record sales, and expanded its operations, paving its way to become the behemoth it is today. Today, Apple has approximately 200 open sales positions in the United States.

Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Medical Devices

Almost always heralded as recession proof is the healthcare industry, which can be very broad and encompass hospital visits, outpatient care, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. Regardless of the economy, people who get sick/injured will still need care and people with ongoing medical conditions will continue to purchase drugs and devices to lead their daily lives. While elective/cosmetic procedures will likely decrease in a recession, people will continue to need drugs and products like insulin, antidepressants, and contact lenses, keeping the healthcare industry strong even while in a recession.

Recession Success: Amgen. Biotechnology/biopharmaceutical company Amgen, which produces vital cancer and major illness drugs, grew its revenue by 3% in 2008, the heart of the Great Recession. Amgen has only grown since then, acquiring more medications and partnerships with powerful companies. Amgen currently has 100 open sales positions in the United States.

If you’re looking to transition into a recession-resistant industry, CSS ProSearch can help.” Says Abby Prince, Managing Director, CSS ProSearch.

CSS ProSearch is a recruiting firm that places top sales and marketing talent for growing businesses in the healthcare, technology, and consulting verticals.

Our sales recruiters take a consultative approach to recruiting, acting as a true partner in the success of both our clients and our talent. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team combines best-in-class recruiting practices, technology, research and innovative approaches to deliver exceptional service with every engagement.

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