03/14/14 Working Life
Take a close look at Tampa Bay's recession-hardened workforce, and you'll notice something missing.
There aren't as many young workers as there used to be. Not by a long shot.
In fact, over the past decade, more young people either stayed out or fell out of the job market in Tampa Bay than just about anywhere else in the country.
A report released today by the Brookings Institution highlights the dramatic dropoff: Back in 2000, almost 73 percent of those aged 20 to 24 in the bay area had a job; a dozen years later, that dropped to just under 60 percent employed within that age group. ...
PODS purchases its largest franchisee
PODS Enterprises, the moving and storage company based in Clearwater, has bought all the assets of its largest franchisee.
The purchase of Storage Mobility LLC strengthens PODS' presence in the Northeast, allows it to build a significant cluster on the West Coast, and increases its footprint in the Mountain time zone, PODS CEO John B. Koch said Thursday. ...
03/12/14 Working Life
For the second month in a row, Florida job creation is slowing down, according to a regional employment report released Wednesday.
Payroll processing company ADP estimated that Florida added 10,840 private sector jobs last month, slightly less than January and far shy of the pace two months ago when the state churned out 25,000 new private sector jobs.
After breaking out as a national leader a few months ago, Florida is now adding jobs at a slower pace than Arizona, Texas, Nevada and Utah....
Tampa treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration salvaged a profit out of its fourth quarter, buoyed by the sale of silver it recovered from the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck off the coast of Ireland.
Odyssey reported a net income of $10.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from a year-ago loss of $900,000. Revenues more than doubled to $17.2 million, up from $7.9 million, primarily due to monetizing silver recovered from the Gairsoppa project in 2012 and 2013....
A unit of General Dynamics guiding people to enroll through Obamacare's new Health Insurance Marketplace is ramping down, triggering the layoff of 305 seasonal workers at a Riverview call center, along with 726 workers at a center in Florida's Panhandle.
The cuts will take place in early May, according to separate mass layoff notices filed with the state. The Riverview cutback was detailed in a filing Friday while the cuts at a Lynn Haven site in the Panhandle were disclosed a week ago. ...
03/06/14 Personal Finance
Bucking a national trend, Tampa Bay, Miami and Orlando all posted a drop in overall consumer debt last year, according to a report from the consumer credit crunchers at Equifax.
In fact, those metro areas, along with Las Vegas, were the only four among the top 25 where debt did not rise.
But Equifax cautions that the decrease in consumer debt was not due to an outbreak of frugal Floridians, but rather "likely" tied to the loss of mortgages in the foreclosure-heavy, renter-growing markets. "Non-mortgage debt actually increased in those areas as consumers gained confidence in taking on additional debt," Equifax said, describing it as a positive development....
TAMPA — As head of philanthropic giving for Bank of America, Andrew Plepler oversees doling out $2 billion toward social causes from building affordable housing to feeding the poor to funding teen jobs.
He also oversees the megabank's goal to invest and lend $1.5 trillion in community development projects over a 10-year span.
But, as Plepler pointed out during a visit to Tampa on Thursday, the bank cannot lend as much in Tampa Bay as it can elsewhere....
HCI Group Inc., the best-performing stock in the Tampa Bay area the past two years, had a rugged time in the markets Wednesday.
The Tampa-based parent of Homeowners Choice Inc. saw its stock plunge 19 percent the day after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts' expectations.
The company reported net income of $1.31 a share for the quarter ended in December, 14 cents shy of estimates from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Quarterly revenue jumped 28 percent to $65.25 million, but that was about $3 million under estimates as well, according to TheStreet....
State regulators are investigating a Palm Harbor firm for allegedly offering and selling more than $13 million in unregistered securities in the form of investment agreements.
The Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County granted the Florida Office of Financial Regulation a temporary injunction against Tri-Med Associates Inc. and five individual defendants: Jeremy Anderson, Anthony N. Nicholas III, Eric Ager, Irwin Ager and Teresa Simmons Bordinat. ...
WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday night voted to undo major provisions of a 2012 law that has caused sharp flood insurance rate increases, signaling possible relief after months of rising tension among homeowners in Florida and other states.
The bill would eliminate a provision of the law that said government-subsidized rates disappear when a person sells a primary home; provide a refund for those who already got hit under that provision; and maintain protections due to sunset for "grandfathered" properties built to code after a community adopted its first Flood Insurance Rate Map....
03/04/14 Working Life
The number of long-term unemployed without access to federal benefits crossed 2 million this week, just a few weeks after crossing the 100,000 threshold in Florida.
Those are the latest estimates released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project, which has been lobbying Congress to restore the federal, long-term unemployment benefits program which lapsed at the end of 2013.
Beginning in January, the maximum payout of unemployment benefits in Florida decreased from 19 weeks to 16 weeks under a formula tied to its unemployment rate. Without the extra layer of federal aid, several thousand Floridians are running out of unemployment insurance payouts every week while still job hunting. ...
03/04/14 Working Life
Tampa residents still reeling from the Great Recession may find this one hard to believe, but it gives job seekers a big injection of hope.
The city of Tampa ranks as the third-best city in the country to find a job this year, according to an analysis by Wallet Hub, an online personal financial advice tool.
The list released this week ranks 60 major cities to assess the strength of the job market and greatest prospects for "long-term financial security." Among the 13 metrics crunched for the overall ranking were number of job openings, unemployment rate trend, cost of living and prevalence of employer-provided health benefits....
They're back. Nearly five years after it stopped writing new homeowners policies in Florida, State Farm is getting back in the game.
State Farm spokeswoman Michal Brower said the insurer has told agents that it is writing a "limited" number of new homeowners and renters policies in the state. The decision marks a sharp reversal from the insurer's longstanding contention that it cannot make money in Florida. A string of hurricane-free years, rising rates and reduced exposure to perils like sinkholes have all improved Florida's appeal to insurers.....
02/28/14 Working Life
Florida's jobs recovery last year was among the strongest in the country on a couple fronts, according to a U.S. Department of Labor analysis released Friday.
The state's huge drop in its unemployment rate last year was second only to Nevada and it also was among the leaders in growing its labor force participation by one measure.
Florida's unemployment rate fell 1.6 percentage points — from 8.8 percent to 7.2 percent. By comparison, Nevada's jobless rate fell 1.7 percentage points down to a still-stunning 9.8 percent. ...
Sunset Vistas condo owners knew they had to do something when their flood insurance premiums hit $400,000 a year.
The reason for the big tab? Federal flood maps showed that the waterfront Treasure Island complex had a high risk of wave-related damage.
The solution: Get the flood maps changed.
The result: An insurance bill that plunged to less than $20,000 a year.
"It was just an insane difference,'' said Kelly Dees, an officer of Sunset Vistas condo association....