A report released this week shows Kentucky and Indiana are among the states with the highest rates of bankruptcy filings per number of people. Indiana ranks fifth, and Kentucky is close behind in seventh. Kentucky sees an average of about five bankruptcy filings per one-thousand residents.
Kentucky State Data Center Director Ron Crouch says the loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs in the Commonwealth is one factor pushing that number higher.
“Are we in a situation now where we’re trying to race toward the bottom to give workers lower wages and lower benefits?” says Crouch. “That may be what’s happening. We’re losing our manufacturing base, our number of manufacturing jobs has declined from 13% to 11% in Kentucky, and of course that’s a national trend as well, Indiana’s had even a greater loss in their manufacturing base.”
Crouch says the combination of the loss of a well-paying job and a medical emergency often push families into bankruptcy.
The country’s bankruptcy rate is up 30% from a year ago.