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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Better times ahead for pay raises, studies say

Pay raises are inching up, news every worker wants to hear. Salary increases are forecast to average about 3 percent in 2013 nationally, and in Florida a bit higher at 3.25 percent, according to a new survey. Florida workers don't necessarily have more to cheer about than those in other states, however. While the numbers were higher for the state, the survey data is from a small sample of Fortune 500 companies in Florida. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Jobless claims hold steady in South Florida

Jobless claims continue to tell a relatively encouraging story for South Florida, as the number of new applications fell to a four-year low last month. Unemployment claims loosely measure the number of people losing their jobs, but not the rate of employers adding them. That number will be released Friday, when Florida issues July employment reports for all counties in the state. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida, Ohio and Pa. have biggest stakes in Medicare battle

No battleground state in the 2012 presidential election relies more heavily on Medicare than Florida does. With Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate on the Republican ticket, the Wisconsin congressman’s plan to transform Medicare has quickly become one of the hottest topics in the campaign. Where will the Medicare debate matter most? Here’s a chart of each swing state’s reliance on Medicare as a share of personal income. [Source: Miami Herald]

Solyndra's collapse chilled alt-energy industry

Scott Faris, 47, is chief executive officer of Planar Energy Devices Inc., an Orlando research start-up that developed advanced battery technology and has raised millions in venture capital. He spoke recently with the Orlando Sentinel and described how the implosion of the California solar-panel maker Solyndra has curbed the appetite to invest in alternative energy technologies in the Sunshine State. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Establishing economic development priorities for Miami-Dade

Community leaders have crafted a new strategic plan for the county’s economic growth focused on seven target industries. Led by the Beacon Council, the county’s private-public economic development partnership, the project hopes to affect everything from university degree offerings to government development funding. Full story...


› Developers plan restoration of historic South Beach block
They have been neglected for nearly a decade and burned badly by suspicious fires. But a South Beach block of dilapidated and charred Art Deco, Post War Modern and Mediterranean Revival buildings could soon be reborn as a complex of boutique hotels if a developer’s plans are approved Tuesday.

› Duke Energy CEO tells regulators he's committed to Florida
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers appeared before the Public Service Commission Monday in his first meeting with the regulatory agency, affirming that the new parent company of Progress Energy Florida remains committed to the state.
» Related: Duke says no decision to fix or shut Florida reactor

› Wanted: American geeks to work at MyTechHelp
MyTechHelp in Broward is looking to hire hundreds of tech experts. The U.S.-based agents are one company’s response to frustration with the outsourced help desk.

› South Florida blood bank accused of unsafe practices
A blood bank that serves hospitals throughout South Florida has received a scathing warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration over unsafe practices in the handling of blood products.

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› Citrix touted for 'work-life balance'
Fort Lauderdale-based Citrix Systems is the only Florida business on the "Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance," by Glassdoor.com, a tool for job seekers comparing potential employers.

› At some arenas, club seats come with a DJ
Popcorn, peanuts and even luxury suites aren’t enough in South Florida, where major sports teams are offering upgraded experiences for fans who are willing to pay.

› BayWalk's new name: Shops at St. Pete
BayWalk is no more. The new name for the storied downtown shopping plaza is The Shops at St. Pete. Yep, that's it," confirmed Bill Edwards, who bought the property for $5.2 million in September.

› Record-breaking python found in Everglades
A monster Burmese python captured in the Everglades has broken the state size record, stretching 17 feet, 7 inches, its belly bursting with 87 eggs, the University of Florida announced Monday. The snake was brought to the Florida Museum of Natural History last Friday for examination. After the scientists are done with it, the snake will be mounted for exhibition at the museum for five years and then returned for exhibition to Everglades National Park.