Make us your home page

Three quick takes on 12 cents, coal cuts, bank rankings

Three quick takes on a new minimum wage, a layoff in coal country and what small businesses think of banks.

• • •

A gain of just 12 cents an hour, 96 cents per eight-hour day, or $249.60 in the coming year. Effective Jan. 1, Florida's minimum wage increases by 12 cents an hour from today's $7.67 to $7.79 per hour.

Each year, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity recalculates Florida's minimum wage based upon the increase in a federal consumer price index.

Proponents of the minimum wage and its annual increases say those gains help lower-income families from slipping closer to poverty. A 40-hour-a-week job at $7.79 translates to a mere $16,203.20 of annual income. Opponents to raising minimum wages argue businesses hire fewer people because of higher costs. Teens, already suffering high jobless rates, are especially squeezed. Or so the argument goes.

Ten states and three cities will increase their minimum wages in 2013. Washington will lead the country with the highest state minimum wage: $9.19 per hour. San Francisco will have the highest overall minimum wage at $10.55, says the Employment Policies Institute.

In Florida, this wage hike was no passing fancy. In 2004, 71 percent of voting Floridians approved a minimum-wage amendment to the state Constitution. The first state minimum wage took effect in 2005 at $6.15 an hour. Since then, the per-hour increase amounts to $1.64. If that sum discourages some companies from relocating or expanding in Florida, well, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

• • •

Direct from the Kentucky keyboard of irresistibly named reporter Trent Knuckles, writing for the Corbin News Journal, comes a story that TECO Coal Corp. will lay off 90 employees from mines across the region in response to tough market conditions.

"We are hopeful that this is temporary and that some time in 2013 the coal markets will recover," Paul Matney, TECO Coal human resource director, told Knuckles. TECO Coal, of course, is one of the business units of TECO Energy, based in Tampa.

The timing of the 90 layoffs is interesting, coming just days after the presidential elections. President Barack Obama is viewed as less of a fan of coal than challenger Mitt Romney. Would those layoffs have occurred had Romney won the White House? Besides, TECO Coal's still waiting to see how much the Environmental Protection Agency may fine the company for discharging mining wastewater in Kentucky's Pike County. It so happens that most of the lost jobs will happen at the TECO Coal subsidiary called Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co. — in Pike County.

• • •

If there's a constant in the business universe, it is the lament of small businesses trying to get bank loans. A JD Power survey says small businesses are less happy with banks than retail customers. But some banks get higher marks than others from small business. Among better ranked banks in the Tampa Bay area: SunTrust and BB&T. And the least liked? Bank of America and Fifth Third received weak marks.

Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected]

Three quick takes on 12 cents, coal cuts, bank rankings 11/12/12 [Last modified: Monday, November 12, 2012 6:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients


    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel


    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]