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Jeff Harrington, Times Staff Writer

Jeff Harrington

Jeff Harrington has been an editor and reporter at the Tampa Bay Times since 1998, primarily working in Business news. He currently covers the economy, banking and insurance among other areas.

A native Ohioan, Jeff graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a dual major in American Studies and French. He worked at the City News Bureau of Chicago, Toledo Blade and Cincinnati Enquirer before winding his way down Interstate 75 to the Tampa Bay area.

He has received numerous awards for business and metro writing, including recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the Associated Press, among others. He was a past finalist and a winner of a Gerald Loeb award honoring the best business writing in the country and his work has been included in the Best Business Stories of the Year series.

Phone: (727) 893-8242

Email: harrington@tampabay.com

Twitter: @JeffMHarrington

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  1. Chicago-based mortgage servicing company adding 100 jobs in Tampa as new regional headquarters

    Banking

    Fay Servicing, a Chicago-based mortgage services firm, will create 100 new jobs in Tampa at its new Southeastern regional headquarters.

    The company, which currently employs nearly 20 Floridians, also promised to invest more than $1 million in the community.

    Founded in 2008, Fay Servicing currently has a national workforce of more than 500. The new positions, which will pay average annual wages of $55,130, include mortgage loan servicing, lender-owned property management and other roles....

    Ed Fay is the CEO of Fay Servicing, which has promised to invest $1?mil?lion in the community.
  2. St. Petersburg's Jabil beats Wall Street estimates for earnings, revenue

    Corporate

    Jabil closed its fiscal year with better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, the St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer reported Wednesday after the market closed.

    For the quarter ended Aug. 31, Jabil reported net earnings of 28 cents a share, down from 53 cents a year ago but 3 cents above Wall Street projections. Quarterly revenue reached $4.4 billion, down from $4.7 billion in the year-ago quarter but beating estimates just under $4.3 billion. ...

    St. Petersburg-based Jabil reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter. [Times file photo]
  3. Jabil Circuit laying off 400 workers, including nearly 100 in St. Petersburg

    Corporate

    Jabil last week began laying off about 400 workers worldwide, including nearly 100 at its St. Petersburg headquarters.

    Corporate spokeswoman Beth Walters confirmed the job cuts Tuesday, saying the contract electronics manufacturer is realigning some areas of business to be better positioned "for continued success into the future."

    "Even though this represents a very small percentage of Jabil's 180,000 global workforce, we do not take this decision lightly or underestimate the impact to these individuals," she said in a statement. "Jabil is providing outplacement and counseling services to our exiting workforce as to assist them in transitioning as quickly and successfully as possible."...

    Jabil last week began laying off about 400 workers worldwide, including "just under" 100 at its St. Petersburg headquarters. [Times file photo]
  4. Tampa Bay's economy grows 2.7 percent, now 26th largest in the country

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay's economic output rose from $127.3 billion in 2014 to $133.8 billion last year, a 2.7 percent rise that outperformed most other metros, according to government figures released Tuesday.

    The bay area's economy currently ranks as 26th largest in the country among all metros, just ahead of Cleveland and just behind Indianapolis. Miami has the 11th largest economy and Orlando came in at 31st....

    With a GDP just under $134 billion, Tampa Bay ranks as the 26th largest economy among U.S. metros, government statistics released Tuesday show. [Times file photo]


  5. Three-fourths of all Florida banks 'recommended' as troubled banks dwindle

    Banking

    Florida has come a long way from the Great Recession era, when it was leading the country in bank failures and a fourth of all its banks were severely troubled.

    About 75 percent of banks statewide made the "recommended" cut in Bauer Financial's latest ratings update while only 6.6 percent are considered "troubled and problematic." That's up from a year ago, when 66.5 percent were recommended and 9.6 percent were in the troubled category....

  6. Clearwater's Tech Data Corp. to buy technology business for $2.6 billion

    Corporate

    Tech Data Corp., already Tampa Bay's largest public company, could become the largest company in Florida under a mega-deal announced Monday.

    The Clearwater-based firm — which distributes IT products from iPhones to computer servers to software — is buying the data center business belonging to Avnet, a technology distributor based in Phoenix.

    The $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions is not only the largest in company history, but a landmark for Tampa Bay business overall, Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times. ...

    Tech Data Corp. CEO Robert Dutkowsky.
  7. Job fair planned for today in downtown St. Petersburg

    Business

    More than 40 employers and area universities will be participating in a job and career fair expected to draw hundreds of job seekers to downtown St. Petersburg Monday.

    The Tampa Bay Times is hosting the fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Coliseum, 535 4th Ave. N.

    Tampa Bay's unemployment rate improved slightly to 4.6 percent in August — based on numbers released Friday — but that means there are still about 70,000 people counted as actively looking for work in the area....

    Job candidates and seekers attended a job and career fair at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg last April. Another job fair at The Coliseum is planned for today. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  8. Regulators approve Citizens Property Insurance rate hikes

    Banking

    Florida insurance regulators late Friday afternoon disclosed that Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has approved a range of rate increases for policyholders of state-run Citizens Property Insurance.

    Rates for multiperil homeowners policies, the most common line, will rise 6.4 percent on average, just shy of the 6.8 percent rate hike sought by Citizens Property Insurance.

    Citizens' coffers have benefited from an era of cheap reinsurance and 11 hurricane-free years until the recent Hurricane Hermine, which happened after the rate request was filed and is not expected to have a major impact on insurers. ...

    Barry Gilway, president of Citizens Property Insurance, shown during a 2012 meeting in Miami, had requested an average 6.8 percent increase in rates. State regulators approved a 6.4 percent hike.
[Associated Press file photo]

  9. Florida unemployment rate stuck at 4.7 percent for fourth straight month

    Working Life

    Florida's economic recovery appears to be in a holding pattern.

    For the fourth straight month, the state's unemployment rate remained flat at 4.7 percent, according to the August jobs report released Friday.

    The state is still adding a significant number of jobs — 24,500 in August alone — along a wide number of industries. But the job growth isn't enough to keep up with the state's surging population. U.S. Department of Labor data shows that Florida's labor force — the number of people who have a job or are looking for one — actually contracted last month....

    Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday came to St. Petersburg to congratulate Intellitech President Barbara Biller on relocating jobs and her company's headquarters from Maryland to Florida. Today, Scott released Florida's latest monthly jobs and unemployment report, saying 24,500 jobs were created statewide in August. [Pinellas County]
  10. Is a recession looming for Florida and Tampa Bay?

    Personal Finance

    After decades advising banks and other businesses at the center of Tampa Bay's financial community, Tampa securities lawyer Marty Traber is an old hand at reading economic tea leaves. Lately many of those leaves point to a slowdown, if not an outright recession. Traber senses it in the handful of community banks fighting over relatively few small-business loans. He hears it from New York advisers who caution against parking money in some short-term investments. He sees it in fewer capital expansions and refinancings as companies shun taking on more debt. "I'm busy at the moment but do I need (to hire) more people? No. Did I need more people this time last year? Yes," Traber says. "Something is cooking. I just don't know the severity of it." The last time the country was about to replace a lame-duck president eight years ago marked a rock-bottom financial point for a generation: the implosion of Lehman Bros. and Wall Street's ensuing collapse; massive bank and auto bailouts. This year, politi-speak is also filled with ominous predictions about the election's ramifications — even if few are predicting Great Recession Part II. ...

    UCF’s Sean Snaith is wary 
about the 
auto industry.
  11. 10News WTSP general manager Elliott Wiser is resigning

    Business

    Elliott Wiser is leaving his position as general manager of St. Petersburg CBS affiliate 10News.

    Wiser, 60, announced his departure in a Facebook post late Thursday.

    There was no immediate word on his replacement.

    "Today I resigned as President/General Manager of 10News WTSP. I will be working with (10News owner) TEGNA over the next few months as it transitions leadership. I want to thank the wonderful staff at the station for an amazing 3 years. WTSP is stronger today and will only get better," he wrote....

    Elliott Wiser, who created local cable channel Bay News 9, shook up the bay area media scene when he moved to Ch.?10 in June 2013
  12. Gov. Rick Scott talks about Zika, open government and, of course, jobs, during St. Petersburg stop

    Blog

    ST. PETERSBURG - Gov. Rick Scott came to St. Petersburg Thursday afternoon to talk about his favorite topic -- jobs -- as he touted manufacturer Intellitech's decision to relocate its headquarters from "high-tax" Maryland to Florida.

    But Scott spent much of a brief press conference afterward talking about his favorite topic: Zika prevention.

    Fresh back from a trip to Washington, D.C., Scott said he's still upset that Congress has not passed a Zika funding bill, stressing that the $26 million allocated by the state isn't enough to fight the virus which is particularly threatening to pregnant women....

    Gov. Rick Scott congratulates Intellitech President Barbara Biller on Thursday. The company is moving from Maryland to Pinellas County.
  13. Nielsen will close the chapter on paper diaries for TV ratings by early 2018

    Corporate

    Dear Nielsen Diary: It's time to say goodbye.

    As it shifts to electronically track TV ratings in all its markets, Nielsen Co. is phasing out use of the iconic paper diaries that have been used to track viewership habits of TV families since the birth of the television era in the 1950s, back when shows like I Love Lucy ruled the airwaves.

    Nielsen, which operates its media research nerve center out of a complex in Oldsmar, said it will electronically measure TV ratings across all 210 of its "designated market areas," or DMAs, by July 2017. ...

    From the birth of the TV era in the 1950s, when shows like I Love Lucy ruled the air, so-called “Nielsen families” have self-recorded their viewing habits in paper diaries. That information was then used to create television ratings.  
  14. Study: A shrinking middle class in Florida means more economic polarization

    Business

    Florida is becoming more economically polarized between the have-plenties and the have-very littles.

    There's been a sizable increase in the percentage of wealthier Floridians, with many in the middle class able to improve their financial condition since the end of the Great Recession. But the ranks of the middle class itself are shrinking. And the share of workers in the lowest-income "working class" has remained unchanged, with many stuck in perpetually low-wage occupations without a clear path upward....

    A report being released today says the percentage of Floridians earning less than $15 an hour has risen. In this April 2015 photo, protestors in front of a McDonald’s on N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa north of Interstate 275 are calling for higher pay. [SKIP O’ROURKE  |   Times]
  15. Iron Bow Technologies opening customer service center in Tampa and hiring 170 people

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Iron Bow Technologies, a Virginia company that provides tech and customer service support, is opening a new customer service center that will bring 170 new jobs to Tampa.

    The operation at Woodland Corporate Center in north Tampa is expected to be operational by Nov. 1, the company said in an announcement Friday morning.

    "Tampa has a nationally renowned reputation for great customer service and information technology talent — a perfect combination of skills that will help us ramp up quickly in our new location," said Rene LaVigne, Iron Bow Technologies' president and CEO....

    Iron Bow Technologies will fill 
24,000 square feet of office space at the Woodland Corp?orate Center in north Tampa.