Recession-resistant jobs?

Career planning has taken on new urgency for many workers in recent months, and a new report identifying the top recession-resistant industries and jobs in Washington may help.

The Quarterly Labor-Market Review for the Fourth Quarter, 2008 by the Employment Security Department reveals that jobs with hospitals, credit intermediation companies and the federal government are usually the least affected by recessions.

Other jobs may be affected by recessions, but they tend to rebound faster than other industries. These include wholesale traders that use the Internet for their business, general merchandise stores and educational services.

Careers that are the safest bets for continued growth include computer-software engineers and programmers, personal and home-care aides, multi-media artists and animators, and social and human-service assistants.

“Our aim was to give useful information to people who are looking for work during this recession,” said Mary Ayala, chief economist for Employment Security. “Being aware of the industries and jobs that are more successful can help people plan how to stay competitive, acquire new skills and adapt to changing professional demands.”

She noted that teens and baby boomers are especially affected during the recession, although for different reasons. Teens will likely face a tougher summer job market than last year, while potential retirees may be working longer than they anticipated previously, leaving fewer job openings than expected.

The report describes how a recession affects the way employers conduct business, sometimes leading them to reorganize, let some employees go and hire those with different skill sets.

The report also found several industries that have not regained their pre-2001-recession employment levels. They include wood-product industries, computer manufacturers and wired-telecommunications carriers.

The report is available online at .