New figures regarding unemployment in Kansas for 2012 have recently been released. As the economy slowly starts to rebound following the Great Recession, there are still a greater number of people looking for jobs than there are available. For this reason, it will likely not be of surprise to readers of our bankruptcy law blog that unemployment or underemployment is one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy filings.

The 2012 unemployment figures speak for themselves. For every Kansas job there were 2.5 unemployed people last year. This figure uses the Department of Labor’s definition of “unemployed” which does not include people who have given up looking for a job.

Across the state, more than 25% of the job openings paid less than $8 per hour. Another 25% of the vacancies paid between $8 and $10.99 per hour. As pay increased, so did job vacancies. Around one-third of openings did not offer benefits. The jobs with the most openings included food preparation and service workers, waiters and agricultural workers.

Unemployment or underemployment leaves a serious gap in household income. It can be nearly impossible to dig yourself out of a financial hole when you struggle on a monthly basis to pay for your regular living expenses. High interest credit cards and late fees also add to the problem by quickly increasing the amount of a person’s debt. If you are struggling with debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing may offer a viable debt relief option. Chapter 7 discharges a wide variety of debt including credit card bills, medical debt and lawsuits. A personal bankruptcy filing has given many Kansas residents the fresh financial start needed to move forward without the burden of unmanageable debt.

Source: The Topeka Capital-Journal, “Kansas jobs: most vacancies are low-skilled, low-wage,” Megan Hart, Mar. 2, 2013

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