THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Recession fears? Houses are hurting, but you're worth more

There's a lot of hoopla over the recession. Or the coming recession. Or the statistical but maybe-not-really recession. But the truth is that the job market is just fine, especially for the post-Baby Boomer set.

The health of today's job market is not so much a function of economic indicators as it is a function of demographic trends. There's a huge shortage of employees.

Baby Boomers are retiring, and Generation X and Y are less able to replace the Baby Boomers than had been anticipated. Moreover, companies are getting fewer hours of work per person from post-Boomers because of their focus on family (Generation X) and entrepreneurship (Generation Y).

Due to these factors, the employee shortage is increasing, and only a knock-down-drag-out recession will change this sunshine outlook for employees.  

Deloitte, the big consulting firm, says that employees will be in high demand for the next decade, and the company's growth strategy requires that it continue to recruit just as heavily now as before talk of a recession. And Forbes reporter Tara Weiss finds that other companies are reacting similarly.

Even in areas where the economic downturns are hitting the hardest– like finance, real estate and manufacturing– younger employees are in high demand.

I recently spoke with Ryan Sutton, vice president at the recruiting firm Robert Half, which specializes in the finance sector.

"Demand will continue to be strong," says Sutton. "It is so pent up over the years that it's hard to say whether an economic downturn would really affect a company's ability to catch up."

Polls conducted by Robert Half show that most companies will continue to ramp up hiring in finance. In terms of real estate, Deloitte reports that almost 60 percent of people working in this market will be retirement age by 2010. And groups like Boston's Urban Land Young Leaders see huge potential for careers in this industry, especially in terms of green building. The bottom line in real estate is that the economic problems are about home prices, not jobless claims: Just because your mortgage is exploding doesn't mean your career is.  

Another example is manufacturing, a sector that is officially in a recession, but that doesn't mean there are no jobs. In fact, the industry is very focused on the shortage of workers and has ramped up recruiting efforts to attract young people via YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. The $70 million "Dream It. Do It." campaign shows an industry in high-gear hiring mode, unfazed by fears of recession.  

So listen to talk of recession, but don't let it get you down. There are a few precautions you can take in case you get laid off or downsized. But, really, don't decrease your expectations for your job just because housing prices are tanking, and hedge fund managers are suffering. Many people are not convinced that the job market will be hugely affected by this turmoil.  

Often times, we get for ourselves what we expect from ourselves. So during talk of recession, keep your chin up and your expectations for your career up as well. This might just be a great time for your career.