10 Recession-proof Businesses

Surprisingly, tattoo parlors do well whether or not a recession is going on. See more pictures about the recession. iStock/Thinkstock

If you lost a job during the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, you're not alone. The global financial meltdown triggered the longest recession since World War II and created the most toxic business conditions since the Great Depression [source: Rampell]. Unemployment soared to 10 percent in January 2009 as companies closed doors or cut costs to ride out the rough times [source: BLS].

During recessions, job security becomes the number one priority as workers flock toward so-called recession-proof businesses. Recession-proof businesses are traditionally defined as industries that either thrive during rotten economic times or at least survive unscathed.

The global financial crisis of 2007-2009, however, rewrote the rules about recessions. Many economists are now saying that there's no longer such a thing as a recession-proof business. The best that employees can hope for is a recession-resistant business, meaning one with a better chance than most of riding out a recession [source: Chase].

The key to job security during a recession, experts say, is to find a company or industry that shows long-term growth potential, is immune from outsourcing and isn't tied to the fickle tastes of consumers [sources: Burt].

So what might those be? Here are some examples, in no particular order, starting with three items that are guaranteed to make you feel better.