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Friday's Daily Pulse

Luring companies to the Sunshine State

A new report on Florida's economic competitiveness recommends that the state beef up Gov. Rick Scott's ability to lure new corporations with large checks and also lower standards for the wages these companies would have to pay. The report says the state needs to better market itself as a place to work instead of just to play. "People just don't think of Florida as a 'top of mind' place to do productive activity," said Mark Sweeney, of McCallum Sweeney Consulting. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel and the Florida Current.

Need help sorting through the issues on November's ballot? Read
The Amendments
Florida's Constitution
Florida Trend's guide to the 11 proposed amendments:

Amendment 1 - Health Insurance Mandates
Amendment 2 - Veterans Tax Relief
Amendment 3 - Budget-Taxes
Amendment 4 - Property Tax Breaks
Amendment 5 - Judicial Reform
Amendment 6 - Abortion Restrictions
Amendment 8 - Religious Funding
Amendment 9 - Surviving Spouses Tax Relief
Amendment 10- Small Business Tax Break
Amendment 11 - Senior Homestead Tax Exemption
Amendment 12 - Student Representation

Florida adds 4,200 construction jobs

Florida added 4,200 construction jobs, an increase of 1.3 percent, in September compared to a year ago, the Associated General Contractors said in a report based on labor data. The largest percentage of construction employment gains since September 2011 were in Missouri, which added 4,300 jobs; Iowa, 2,200 jobs; and Alaska, 400 jobs. Missouri added the most jobs during September, followed by Florida. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Businesses begin hiring seasonal employees

As the holiday season quickly approaches, Central Florida businesses are looking to beef up their staffs in order to take on the increasing number of holiday shoppers. Many students look to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld for seasonal jobs, but they often overlook other employment opportunities closer to UCF. [Source: Central Florida Future]

Florida still holds key to 2012 election

Not so fast, Ohio. Florida still has something to say about this presidential election. Pundits have increasingly declared the final weeks of the presidential campaign all about who can win the Buckeye State’s 18 electoral votes. But the candidates’ actions show they are far from ready to let up on the gas in Florida. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

9 reasons why you shouldn’t rush into retirement

If anything has been a casualty of the Great Recession, it’s America’s traditional vision of retirement–– clocking out at age 65, cruises every other month and a condo in Florida. Instead, workers today are coming to grips with the very realistic notion that they may work well into their 70s. But is that really such a bad thing? [Source: Business Insider]


› South Florida libraries write the book on reinvention
While they still have millions of books to lend, libraries are remaking themselves as community centers, offering everything from help with job searches to jazz concerts to classes in belly dancing, cupcake decorating and Craigslist.

› Gov. Scott's school plans draw widespread praise
Gov. Rick Scott's education agenda for next year's legislative session drew praise Thursday from state and local school officials, the Florida PTA, business interests and fellow Republicans, as well as a backhanded compliment from a top Democrat.

› Chris Evert tournament raises money to fight drug abuse
The former tennis pro has spent more than 20 years supporting nonprofits that provide services to people battling drug addition through her annual Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic, which begins Saturday at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.
» Related Florida Trend Content: Florida Icon: Chris Evert

› Tricks and treats of spooky season at the theme parks
Universal, SeaWorld and Disney definitely have found their sweet spots for the Halloween season. The selling points for their special events run from mild to wild and cover a wide demographic.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Miami foreclosure rate continues to drop
The rate of foreclosures in the greater Miami area declined in August to 16.42 percent of outstanding mortgages from 18.14 a year earlier, according to CoreLogic. The foreclosure rate is the percentage of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process.

› With FDA warning letter in hand, RTI quarterly revenues up 5%
RTI Biologics reported third-quarter revenues of $44.6 million, a 5 percent increase over the third quarter of 2011. RTI also revealed that the company had received a warning letter from the FDA about its environmental monitoring systems in its Alachua tissue processing facility.

› Former Office Depot CEO to head Washington think tank
Former Office Depot CEO Steve Odland is taking over as president and CEO of the Washington think tank Committee for Economic Development. A nonpartisan nonprofit, CED was formed in 1942 and helped design the Marshall Plan. Earlier this year it was promoting the benefits of having more women on corporate boards.

› BP pulls plug on planned biofuels plant in Highlands County after four stalled years
Energy giant BP said Thursday it canceled plans to build a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County four years after first unveiling the central Florida biofuels project. The decision means BP – infamously known best in Florida for 2010's massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – is ending its U.S. pursuit of commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol production.