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Great Recession

Report: Wages for Florida workers was flat for a decade

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Wages paid to Florida workers remained stagnant for the last decade, says a new report from researchers. The Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida this week released a 10-year overview that said average wages remained relatively flat between 2005 and 2015. The report says after wages were adjusted for inflation the average wage hovered around $45,000 a year. It actually declined right after the start of the Great Recession, rebounded slightly but then fell again.…

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Joe Henderson: Rick Scott’s approval rating climbs because the economy trumps everything

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The steady increase in Gov. Rick Scott’s approval rating has reinforced the notion that if voters have a job and the economy seems to be humming along, other things don’t matter much. The latest poll, released this week by Morning Consult, put Scott’s approval number at 57 percent. Considering that he stood at 26 percent in 2012 according to Public Policy Polling, that’s downright miraculous. That same PPP poll five years ago included a forecast that Scott would lose a…

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Joe Henderson: After Enterprise Florida fight, Rick Scott has little political capital left

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Rick Scott went to Tallahassee in 2011 as an outsider. He often has operated like one as well, and not always in a good way. In a private company, stubborn employees can get fired for standing up to the boss. In politics, though, defiance can be considered a virtue. Eventually, people who vow to run government like a business learn you can’t just issue orders and expect things to get done. Real democracy can be a free-for-all. That brings us…

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Florida Senate says yes to more help for college students

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College students in Florida could soon get extra help under an ambitious proposal passed by the Florida Senate. The Florida Senate voted 35-1 Thursday for an overhaul of the state’s higher education system that is a top priority for Senate President Joe Negron. It boosts financial aid and calls for new programs to help universities attract and keep faculty members. The bill (SB 2) would require the state to cover 100 percent of tuition costs for top performing high school…

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Florida consumer sentiment soars amid holiday shopping, improved state economy

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Consumer sentiment among Floridians surged up 6.9 points in December to 97.2, according to the latest University of Florida consumer survey. This is the highest reading since March 2015 and the second-highest since February 2004—before the Great Recession of 2008. All five of the components that make up the index increased. Perceptions of one’s personal financial situation now compared with a year ago rose 1.4 points, from 81.5 to 82.9. Opinions as to whether now is a good time to…

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Florida had economic gains in 2015 but lags behind nation

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 While Floridians made economic strides last year, the state still lags behind the rest of the nation on important economic indicators, according to new figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Three Florida cities had the lowest median household income last year among the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, and Florida had one of the highest measures of economic inequality in the nation, according to the 2015 American Community Survey figures. Florida had a median household income of $49,426…

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Today on Context Florida: Merrick Garland, political conventions, Florida’s unemployment and fracking alarmists

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Today on Context Florida: The maxim that “no good deed goes unpunished” is often borne out in politics these days. If President Barack Obama hasn’t taped it to his shaving mirror, Martin Dyckman says he should. In Merrick Garland, he found an ideal Supreme Court candidate, one whom, were the present roles reversed, a Republican president might have nominated and a Democratic Senate would have been obliged to confirm. Despite all that, Senate Republicans are still refusing a hearing on the…

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