Talk of the bay: Jobless rates grow in state, Tampa Bay area

By Times staff writers
Published July 21, 2007

Florida's jobless rate crept up slowly in June, reflecting softness in the construction industry. The state's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, compared with 3.3 percent a year ago; the Tampa Bay area posted a 3.9 percent jobless rate, up from 3.5 a year ago. Nationwide, unemployment stood at 4.5 percent in June. Florida officials said the state's job growth has slowed to the lowest rate since December 2003.

Studios will move into Ybor complex

Tampa Digital Studios, a digital media production company and a partner with the online show Tampa Bay's Media Talk, is moving its operations to former retail space in Ybor City called Centro Ybor. Tampa Digital Studios officials hope the move this fall into the struggling, historic retail/entertainment complex will bring more creative arts businesses into Ybor. Decade-old Tampa Digital, which employs 32, rents studio and editing facilities for TV commercials, infomercials, computer animation and Webcast production. The company's South Tampa home is being sold to residential developers.

Raise home rates? The answer's no

State regulators on Friday denied Florida Farm Bureau's request to raise its homeowners insurance rates by 26.8 percent. "We discovered that the company made a business decision to reinvest $6-million in added reinsurance rather than passing the savings on to their policyholders," said Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. Florida Farm Bureau must now re-submit its filing. It has about 10,000 policyholders in the Tampa Bay area and was the first of about 130 insurers to make its final rate request for 2007-08.

. tampabay.com

Industry in crisis

Learn about the problems facing insurance companies in Florida at tampabay.com/insurance.