In terms of industries, you want to steer toward those that deliver products or services that are considered necessary rather than optional. As times remain tough, many people avoid optional spending to preserve their resources and maintain more financial "safety."
Services that are usually considered necessities include things like haircuts, senior or child care, and restoration services. Products that usually remain in strong demand include fast food and pet products.
In terms of markets, most people are stuck building their business right where they are currently located -- especially if they would have to sell their house in order to move. If you have the flexibility of moving anywhere then I'd suggest you go to someplace where the housing market is strongest because that's where you'll find more confident consumers.
Related: How to Find Hot Franchises in a Cold Market
Related: Five Questions to Ask Franchisees Before You Become One
Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.