Job markets are being closely monitored everywhere, but Indiana job market news is of crucial interest to me as a bankruptcy attorney with offices in Anderson, Bloomington, Columbus, and Indianapolis, all places where job markets are changing rapidly. Even in the short time since my last blog on the subject, ( see “Employment Update For Rebuilding After Bankruptcy“), there continues to be both positive and negative news every day having to do with layoffs and new hiring in central Indiana.

Researchers in the Heritage “think tank” offer an interesting view: Rising unemployment, they say, is caused by less new job creation, not by more layoffs.  With fewer new jobs available, it takes people longer to find work.  In all times, the researchers note, employers are creating and shedding jobs as technology and consumer preferences change.  In short, Heritage is saying, job losses have only slightly increased and are not the main reason for the rising unemployment rate.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (IDWD) assists Hoosiers whose jobs have changed or disappeared prepare for new careers. As one example of their work, IDWD, in “From a Lost Job To a New Career”, talks about an office clerk who was downsized because new information technology made her job unnecessary.  With additional education and training to develop people skills and time management skills, that office clerk can become a legal secretary or a paralegal.

All of these developments on employment relate in a very real way to my Indiana bankruptcy law practice. One example is Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plans.  In a Chapter 13, the debtor is given three to five years to make payments.  But, if someone who has begun such a plan under the supervision of the bankruptcy court gets laid off, the bankruptcy trustee can file a motion to invalidate the plan.  It’s crucial for that debtor to find new employment quickly, in order to preserve the protection from creditors and continue making their Chapter 13 plan payments.

Remember that my work with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor is not “over” in a few days or even a few weeks; I am “with” those debtors as they complete the three to five year plan, all the way from planning strategy for which type of bankruptcy to file until they emerge from the bankruptcy and receive their discharge.  The availability of jobs is an absolute necessity if the bankruptcy safety net is to properly function and provide the needed relief. Jobs are a real key to the “fresh start” that bankruptcy is all about!