Make us your home page

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


Twitter: @JeffMHarrington

  1. Bank of the Ozarks names former C1 executive to run Florida operations


    Bank of the Ozarks, in completing its $402.5 million acquisition of C1 Financial on Thursday, has named an executive vice president with C1 to run its Florida division.

    Alan Randolph will head the Bank of the Ozarks' 44 Florida branches.

    Trevor Burgess, former president and CEO of C1 as well as the founder of the St. Petersburg-based bank, will remain as his new company's chief innovation officer. George Gleason, chairman and CEO of Bank of the Ozarks, said his team has already begun to implement some technology enhancements that were developed at C1....

  2. Florida unemployment stays flat in June amid hiring slowdown

    Economic Development

    Florida's jobs recovery hit a speed bump last month.

    The state's unemployment rate in June stayed at 4.7 percent, unchanged from May, as it added a relatively modest 9,800 jobs over the month, according to figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

    The slowdown comes a month after Florida boasted adding 24,500 jobs during May, nearly three times more than any other state....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott, shown here in Cleveland earlier this week to address the Republican National Convention, came to Tampa Friday morning to comment on the latest unemployment and job creation report.
[Associated Press]
  3. Survey: Tampa Bay residents are really bad at managing their money

    Personal Finance

    With many pushing their available credit to the limit, Tampa Bay residents rank as third worst at managing their money compared to those in other major metros.

    Across the state, Miami isn't faring much better, ranking fourth worst.

    That's according to a new analysis by that looks at both average credit scores in the 25 largest metros and what their expected credit score would be based on local income, age, unemployment and education data....

    A new analysis involving credit scores concludes that Tampa Bay residents are third worst at managing money compared to those in other big metros.
[File photo: New York Times]
  4. Pioneering former Times business editor Elizabeth Whitney dies


    To the journalism community, Elizabeth Whitney was a pioneer — the first woman business editor of a major U.S. paper and an oft-awarded reporter who always seemed ahead of the curve, from predicting the savings and loan crisis to chronicling the condo boom.

    To friends, family and co-workers at what is now the Tampa Bay Times, Whitney was much more — gracious, devoted, self-sacrificing and stylish....

    Elizabeth Whitney was the first female business editor at a major U.S. newspaper, the then-St. Petersburg Times. She died Tuesday.
  5. Minnesota software firm expands into Tampa, adds 60 jobs

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Sagitec Solutions, a St. Paul, Minn., company that serves clients with pension, provident fund and unemployment software solutions, is expanding into Tampa Bay.

    The company said Monday it plans to create up to 60 jobs here within two years, using the Tampa site to grow its client base in the eastern United States. The positions, with average annual salaries of $60,000, include software support specialists, software engineers, business analysts and human resources professionals....

  6. New Port Richey couple charged with running Clear­water-based investment scam

    Personal Finance

    A Tampa Bay couple has been arrested on charges of organized fraud, grand theft and mortgage fraud tied to the sale of investment offerings in Clearwater.

    The Florida Office of Financial Regulation on Friday announced the charges against Miguel Angel Perez and his wife, Maritza Belinda Perez, accusing the New Port Richey couple of defrauding at least 13 Floridians out of about $500,000.

    According to the OFR, potential investors were allegedly recruited through "free" real estate investment seminars held at various hotels throughout the Tampa Bay area. At the seminars, attendees were offered investments in an assisted living facility. The facility never came into operation, authorities said, and instead the pair allegedly used investor funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of a home in New Port Richey. ...

    Miguel Angel Perez
[Source: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  7. As Florida banks get stronger, many customers are still waiting to reap the benefits


    Florida, a financial minefield of failing banks six years ago, is overflowing with healthy, top-rated community banks, including a dozen in Tampa Bay alone.

    Big banks are acing the federal government's stress tests and are poised to start doling out dividends to shareholders again. Loan delinquencies have fallen in tandem with the percentage of borrowers with subprime credit.

    These may not be boom times again, but both community banks and megabanks have rebounded strongly from the Great Recession....

    Banks in Florida have mostly pulled out of the financial malaise of six years ago. Big banks are doing well in federal stress tests.
  8. Florida job growth slows, but June is no swoon


    Florida added 14,600 private-sector jobs in June, a strong drop-off from May but still among the strongest job-growing performances in the country.

    The regional employment report released this morning by payroll processor ADP indicates that a summer slowdown in hiring may not have been that severe in Florida. That prospect was also bolstered by last week's national employment report showing the country added a surprisingly strong 287,000 jobs in June, far exceeding the 180,000 new jobs that economists were anticipating....

  9. Report: Florida job growth slows, but still strong in June

    Economic Development

    Florida added 14,600 private-sector jobs in June, a strong drop-off from May but still among the strongest job-growing performances in the country.

    The regional employment report released this morning by payroll processor ADP indicates that a summer slowdown in hiring may not have been that severe in Florida. That prospect was also bolstered by last week's national employment report showing the country added a surprisingly strong 287,000 jobs in June, far exceeding the 180,000 new jobs that economists were anticipating. ...

  10. Fifth Third Bank adds 757 fee-free ATMs to its Tampa Bay network under deal with Allpoint


    Fifth Third Bank is adding 757 fee-free ATMs in Tampa Bay as it partners with Allpoint, the world's largest surcharge-free ATM network.

    All told, Fifth Third customers will have access to 43,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide under the deal announced Tuesday.

    The expansion is a boost for the Cincinnati-based Fifth Third, which currently has 2,500 ATMs and partners with grocery store chain Publix for another 1,100 locations....

  11. Health insurance firm BeniComp relocates headquarters from Fort Wayne to Tampa


    BeniComp Insurance Co., a supplemental group health insurance company, has relocated its headquarters from Fort Wayne, Ind., to downtown Tampa.

    Initially, nine members of the firm's executive team will move to the new headquarters at 501 E Kennedy Blvd. The company plans to add at least three more full-time employees over the next year.

    BeniComp will also maintain its Fort Wayne offices, where it currently employs 40....

    EDC chief Colleen Chappell touts the relocation.
  12. Workers' comp rates could go up nearly 20 percent


    Employers in Florida could face a 19.6 percent jump in workers' compensation insurance rates this fall.

    The amended rate request, filed Friday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, or NCCI, comes in the wake of two recent Florida Supreme Court rulings that business groups have harshly criticized and attorneys representing employees have celebrated.

    NCCI in May initially filed for a 17.1 percent increase, but it bumped it up to 19.6 percent after taking into account the impact of the latest high court decision involving benefits paid to an injured St. Petersburg firefighter....

    Undated photo of Brad Westphal, a St. Petersburg firefighter who was injured on the job. A Supreme Court decision that deemed it unconsitutional to cut off Westphal's workers' compensation benefits after two years is being linked in part to an expected jump in workers' comp insurance rates. 

[Handout photo courtesy of Westphal family]
  13. Florida on pace to swell to $1 trillion economy, says UCF forecast


    Florida's economy will continue to outpace the rest of the country for the next four years, pushing the state toward a $1 trillion economy by 2018, according to the latest economic forecast from the University of Central Florida.

    In his second-quarter forecast, UCF economist Sean Snaith said the Sunshine State is enjoying rising job growth and home construction. The mix of aging baby boomers and a healthier jobs market in Florida "bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees," he said....

    A rising population, job growth and housing demand all are pushing Florida toward becoming a $1 trillion economy within a couple years, a new report says. This photo from March shows early construction for One St. Petersburg, a 41-story, 253-unit condo tower in downtown St. Petersburg.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]

  14. Florida consumer confidence slips to match an 18-month low


    Consumer confidence among Floridians fell again last month to tie with September 2015 for the lowest reading in 18 months, according to a University of Florida survey released Friday.

    The trendline, UF researchers said, showed those making less money were increasingly pessimistic compared with those with higher incomes.

    Out of five components used in the index, three dropped and two rose....

  15. Here's how Brexit will affect Florida and the Tampa Bay area


    The ripple effects of Britain's surprise decision to pull out of the European Union could soon be felt on Florida's shores.

    From trade to travel, tourism to real estate, the ties between Florida and what's been the fifth-largest economy in the world run deep. Friday morning's wake-up call — which came in the form of a severe jolt to the stock market — has Floridians bracing for what comes next, both good and bad:...

    Clearwater Beach lifeguard Donovan Burns, left, scans the Gulf with his binoculars in this 2012 file photo, saying, "I've noticed a lot of British vistors." Britain's pullout from the European Union is expected to make it more expensive for British visitors coming to Florida.
[SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]