The New Year has brought both good and bad news about employment in Indiana, where I practice bankruptcy law.  Just two weeks ago, in my blog New Year, New Update On Job Markets In Indiana, I reported good news about health-testing lab company AIT, which plans to add 130 jobs over the next couple of years.

Then, 300 manufacturing layoffs were announced mid-month, including 74 at Color-Blox cardboard packaging plant in Indianapolis, 84 in the General Aluminum plant in Richmond, and 125 in Patriot Homes in Elkhart County.

One piece of very good news came from Chrysler in Kokomo – the company has reopened its plants after a month-long shutdown, positively affecting its 6300 workers. Meanwhile in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Nu-Tec Coatings, Truck Engineering, Ltd., and CNC Industries are all expanding and adding jobs. Of course, many small businesses negatively impacted by the economic downturn are laying off employees or closing altogether, including the Simply Amish furniture store in Greenwood, Indiana. Hardest hit were retailers and suppliers to the auto industry.

In Indiana, during 2008, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indiana industries that saw a decrease in employment included natural resources and mining, construction, manufacturing (greatest decline), transportation and utilities, information, and professional and business services.  Indiana industries that saw an improvement in employment included financial, education, health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

All these numbers are far more than statistics to me.  As I’ve often said, many, many hardworking people will find themselves turning to the bankruptcy system, because job layoffs are one of the principal three causes of bankruptcy filing.  Even more important, Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients will need to rebuild their finances and keep their bills paid on time in order to take advantage of the fresh start bankruptcy provided them.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy clients will need to make regular payments over a three to five year period of time as they emerge from bankruptcy.

No question about it – jobs and bankruptcy are closely related. As long as that’s true, I’ll make every effort to stay on top of job news around the state and help Indiana bankruptcy clients get to work – and keep working!