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Column: We're still your partner in the workplace

When this weekly Working section began 19 months ago, the once-torrid job market in this state was just starting to show early signs of cooling.

You may sigh at such petty worries now. But you've been more informed about changes in the area workplace, job opportunities and challenges thanks to this Working section.

At our start in October 2006, Floridians enjoyed unemployment rates near historic lows. In the Tampa Bay area, the state boasted 20,800 jobs were created here between the 2005 and 2006 period.

It just felt rather anemic in contrast to the 48,000 jobs added in the local market from November 2004 to November 2005.

That's all a far cry from current times when Florida on Friday reported a loss of 25,300 jobs — more than any other state — in just one month's time: from March to April. Over the past year, Florida has dropped 64,500 jobs, losses driven largely by the decline in construction and homebuilding.

At such a challenging time for workers, the Working section is moving to a new part of the St. Petersburg Times. Starting next Sunday, May 25, Working can be found gracing the front of a section called BayLink.

Working will continue to offer timely stories and information about the Tampa Bay area workplace. The popular "On the Move" component profiling who's been promoted or moved to a new business in the area will remain.

In addition, Working will add more news about area companies, from those winning notable contracts and receiving awards to those expanding or moving to new addresses.

That's just on Sunday.

Monday through Saturday,

the daily BayLink will feature a job-related story, analysis or graphic offering workplace and job-hunting tips, on-the-clock etiquette, legal issues, paycheck comparisons and measures of the confidence of Florida


All these topics come into play in these tougher working times. Tampa Bay's unemployment rate in April was 4.9 percent, much higher than the 3.5 percent a year ago. Seems like a real good reason to keep a close eye on all of the daily jobs coverage, starting Monday, in BayLink.

We will want to know what

you think of the section. You can

e-mail us at readerfeedback@

Column: We're still your partner in the workplace 05/17/08 [Last modified: Saturday, May 17, 2008 4:36am]
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