What’s recession-proof?

Two stories today remind us that these are not normal times, and not even normal downturns. In a normal economic “downturn,” there are recession-proof jobs, jobs that are so critical, or fill a need of the times so perfectly, they can’t possible be eliminated.

Health care is one such historical recession-proof job. But two large area health care organizations have announced cutbacks. Park Nicollet Health Services and North Memorial Health Care will trim 613 jobs.

“My colleagues thought health care was recession proof,” Lawrence Massa, president of the Minnesota Hospital Association, told the Star Tribune. “We’re seeing that’s not the case.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports today, another recession-proof gig is endangered — prostitution.

Big Sister is not the only brothel suffering the effects of a battered global economy. While the world’s oldest profession may also be one of its most recession-proof businesses, brothel owners in Europe and the United States say the global financial crisis is hurting a once lucrative industry.

Egbert Krumeich, the manager of Artemis, Berlin’s largest brothel, said that in November, usually peak season for the sex trade, revenues were down by 20 percent. In Reno, Nev., the famed Mustang Ranch recently laid off 30 percent of its staff, citing a decline in high-spending clients.

An article on Yahoo Jobs earlier this year suggested education is a recession-proof job. Teaching? Have you seen the size of the state’s projected budget deficit?

Forbes says there’s always jobs for salespeople, although now they’re called “business development specialists.”

What about you? Are recession-proof? If so, I’d like to talk to you about your job for News Cut’s “The Jobs We Do” category. Use this form or e-mail me.

(Posting here will be very light today. I’m driving to Worthington today to meet with officials at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. It will be on of the stops on the News Cut on Campus tour starting next month. Each Wednesday I’ll be at a different college/university in Minnesota, talking to students about their journey and their outlook. Stops will include, White Bear Lake, Ely, Duluth, Worthington, Winona, and Moorhead. Everybody has an interesting story to tell and if you’re in college, I’d like to tell yours. So stay tuned for more information.)