FYI Miami: May 16, 2019
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
PRICES RISE FASTER HERE: Consumer prices in South Florida rose more than the national average in the 12 months ended April 30, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Prices in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach region rose 2.2%, the bureau reported, above the national rise of 2%. In South Florida, the cost of food rose 0.3% over the 12 months, with food away from home rising 1.5% and food at home falling 0.5%.
LABOR COST RISES BELOW AVERAGE: Worker compensation costs and wages alone both increased at less than the national average in South Florida for the year ending in March, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Total compensation costs here rose 2.4%, compared with the national average of 2.9%, the bureau reported, while wages and salaries here rose 2.9% compared with 3% nationally. Among the largest US cities, New York had the highest percentage compensation cost increase at 3.9% and Los Angeles had the largest increase in wages and salaries, 4.5%. In Seattle, total compensation costs actually fell 0.2%.
5G LAW CHALLENGED: The Florida League of Cities and three communities have filed a constitutional challenge to a 2017 law dealing with wireless technology, contending that the law infringes on home-rule powers and would lead to an unconstitutional “taking” of city property. The law involves antennas and other equipment that wireless-communications companies need for new 5G technology. Cities contend, in part, that the so-called “small cell” law improperly required them to allow the companies to attach the equipment on such things as municipal light poles and limited the cities to charging $150 a year per pole, effectively requiring that municipalities use taxpayer and public funds and property to subsidize private companies.” Among other things, 5G is expected to provide faster speeds for users of wireless devices.
UNIVERSITY LEADERS: Three Florida schools were ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top 100 national universities. The University of Florida tied for 35th; the University of Miami tied for 53rd; and Florida State University tied for 70th. Metrics considered include the time it takes students to complete degree programs, costs of in-state tuition and debt at graduation, the percentage of Floridians who hold college degrees, and how prepared students are to leave college. “Our colleges and universities have prioritized affordability and pathways for career and life, and, as a result, they are transforming our state,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday. “I look forward to celebrating continued success as we build on this positive momentum.”