by Teri Fritsma  

My title may be a little misleading, because let’s face it: almost no job is completely safe these days.   But there are some fields that still have job openings.   Some openings are in relatively shock-proof industries, like health care.  Other openings exist because they’re in occupations where there’s always some turnover.

So while they may not be completely recession-proof, here’s a list of occupations with the most statewide vacancies.  (Note: This list comes from the 4th quarter, 2008 Minnesota Job Vacancy Survey, conducted by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.  This is great data to take a look at because it was collected after the recession began.)



 1.  Retail Salespersons.  This occupation had 1,649 vacancies statewide last quarter, about 90 percent of them part-time.  The median hourly wage offer for these openings was about $7.50.


2. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers.  There were over 1,500 job vacancies statewide.  The median salary offer was about $7.00 per hour and about 72 percent of these openings were part-time.


3. Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants.   There were 1,442 vacancies, with a median wage offer of $10.29 per hour.  About 67% of these were part-time.  Keep in mind that most people working in this field need to have a certification or license.


4.  Registered Nurses.  The demand for RNs continues.  There were 1,220 vacancies last quarter, with a median wage offer of $24.52.  About half of these openings were part-time.


5. Home Health Aides had 1,202 vacancies last quarter — about 80% for part-time work — with a median wage offer of about $10.50.  More than half these vacancies were open for at least 60 days, which suggests that employers were having a somewhat harder time filling these slots.


6. Cashiers.  There were 872 cashier vacancies statewide, about 88 percent of them for part-time workers, with a median wage offer of $7.50.


7. Customer Service Representatives comes in seventh, with 814 vacancies statewide (42% of them part-time).  The median wage offer for Customer Service Reps was $11.63. 


8. Amusement and Recreation Attendants. There were 705 vacancies statewide; with a median wage offer of $6.75.  An estimated 61% of these vacancies were part-time.


9. Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses. Keep in mind that LPNs require licenses (about 95% of these openings required either an occupational license or certification).  There were 630 vacancies, with a median wage offer of $15.10.  About 65% of these openings were for part-time workers.


10. Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers (Hand).  There were 498 openings, with a median wage offer of $11.71.  Nearly three-quarters —  71% — of these openings were part-time.

4 thoughts on “Recession-proof careers in Minnesota

  1. Great question.

    Here’s a link to ISEEK’s list of “high-paying careers with the most openings” in Minnesota. (Note: these are based on employment projections, not current demand.)

    Lots of health care occupations make this list, but there are plenty of others too.



  2. Seems like the job vacancy report is always dominated with low paying jobs with high turnover even during periods of high job growth. Are there any other jobs besides nursing that pay relatively well that are growing?


Comments are closed.