Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida unemployment rate drops to 4.8 percent
Florida's unemployment rate is dropping. State figures released Friday show unemployment was 4.8 percent in March, down from 5 percent the month before. Florida added 6,200 jobs (+0.1 percent) over the month. [Source: AP]
According to data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity:
The state gained 246,100 jobs over the year, an increase of 3.0 percent. Nationally, the number of jobs rose 1.5 percent over the year. Florida’s over-the-year job growth rate has exceeded the nation’s rate since May 2012.
Sarasota/Manatee had a busy, but flat, tourism season
After a half decade of hand-over-fist growth in visitation, Sarasota and Manatee counties have seen predominantly flat tourism numbers this season. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Jacksonville International Airport to get Lyft transportation service
The on-demand personal transportation company Lyft has reached an agreement to be the first transportation networking company to charge fares at Jacksonville International Airport. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Miami state senator Frank Artiles resigns after racist, profane remarks
Sen. Frank Artiles resigned from the Florida Legislature today, consumed by a scandal that erupted three days earlier over a diatribe of insults the Miami Republican unleashed against two lawmakers at a Tallahassee bar. In a letter to Senate President Joe Negron, Artiles said he was stepping down for the sake of his family and of the institution of the Senate, whose work ground to a near halt this week as Republican leaders grappled with Artiles' political future. See the Senator's resignation letter, here. Read more from the Times/Herald.
Florida agencies that break records laws could pay price
Government agencies would have to pay attorney fees for people who successfully sue them to obtain public records under a bill heading to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The House unanimously passed the bill Thursday. More from the AP.
Andrea Saladrigas created the company Master Honey with her father to alleviate economic concerns that affect low-income women, while also addressing local health and environmental issues. By training women to become beekeepers, they learn basic business skills like micro-finance. It also ensures that honey production will remain in Miami, further fueling the local economy.
» More from Miami's Community Newspapers.
Out of the Box
Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” officially broke ground on April 19 for a $2.5 million park expansion. Using monster-style ride vehicles, Gatorland’s new “Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure” attraction opens this fall.
» Read more from Attractions Magazine.
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