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Where to Find Jobs During the Downturn

However, federal spending might not trickle down to state and local governments, which have been forced to slash spending to close budget gaps. In March, these two areas posted net losses of 3,000 and 9,000 jobs, respectively, according to BLS data.

Education: Despite a loss of 6,800 jobs in March, the education industry has experienced a net gain since November.

"More people are going back to school," explains Grasz. "Individuals want to make themselves more appealing and attractive to prospective employers, and the increase in demand causes a boost in the call for teachers as well as admissions staff and support personnel."

The Midwest, in particular, has shown an uptick in education jobs. That area has lost more manufacturing jobs, forcing workers to develop new skills through training programs.

Construction: Homebuilders were going gangbusters earlier this decade, but the collapse of the residential market has forced the industry to shed more than a million jobs in the last two years.

Even though the housing market is in the tank, the construction industry isn't dead. The recent stimulus package has earmarked billions of dollars for road building, energy upgrades and the development of high-speed rail lines. While it might take some time for the stimulus funds to trickle down to even the most shovel-ready projects, those projects will require a lot of hands.

Peter McDougall is a freelance writer who lives in Freeport, Maine, with his wife and their dog.
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