Overtime Rules Could Undermine Tenuous FL Recovery

May 25, 2016

Gov. Scott speaking at Beneficial Blends in April.
Credit Carolyn Allen / Office of the Governor

This December, federal overtime rules will give time and a half to more than 4 million Americans.  But that could spell trouble for the centerpiece of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s administration.

Scott came into office promising jobs.  Since taking the helm, his administration claims to have created more than a million of them.  But Chris McCarty, head of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research explains the replacements don’t quite make up for the losses.

“In the wake of the recession the big thing that happened is that we effectively replaced a lot of construction jobs with lower paying service jobs,” McCarty says.

He worries that change in Florida’s labor market means new overtime regulations could have a pronounced impact on the state.

“We have a lot of folks in the service sector and a lot of folks in the low end of the service sector,” he says, “and it appears in terms of sheer numbers it’s one of the highest proportions of any state.  So, I imagine it will have a fairly big impact.”

Under the new Labor Department rules, workers making about $47,500 or less annually will be eligible for overtime.  McCarty expects new overtime regulations will most heavily affect employees earning salaries in mid to high $20,000s. 

It’s unclear how businesses will respond to the changes, but many on the right fear the shift will cost jobs.