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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Workers are feeling the vacation day squeeze

A survey by Harris Interactive found that by the end of 2012, Americans will leave an average of 9.2 days of vacation unused, up from 6.2 days last year. It also found profits per employee are at a 10-year high, mostly because workers are cramming in more hours. [Source: Miami Herald]

Scott Salpeter and James Cassel
Florida Crystals has 850 acres it hopes to use as an inland port. Story here.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Crystals' room to grow

Unusual for a Florida region, the Treasure Coast has two sites vying to capitalize on the needs of hemmed-in ports trying to increase the volume of goods they handle as larger and larger cargo ships come to call. The payoffs at the two proposed freight hubs include jobs and real estate revenue. Full story...

Economic recovery brings wealth to Southwest Florida

David Hall doesn’t need government statistics to tell him that Southwest Floridians are doing better in the pocketbook this year. “A lot of our customers cater to tourists and from what we can see they’re having a better tourist season,” said Hall, vice president of the Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank. “They had more revenue, more customers. I think it’s a reflection things are slowly getting better.” [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

Opinion: Steps to turn around Florida's image on voting

The perception of electoral incompetence contributes to Floridians' erosion of trust in government and the democratic process. It sends the message to non-Floridians that we are not competent to maintain a functional society. What business, looking to expand or relocate, wouldn't rethink basing its operations in a state that can't manage such a vital obligation? [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida among the "worst run" states

Every year, 24/7 Wall St. conducts an extensive survey of all fifty states in America. Based on a review of data on financial health, standard of living and government services by state they determine how well each state is managed. Florida this years ranks #42. Read more from 24/7 Wall Street and see the full rankings.

See also:
» Column: From 'best' to 'worst' run states, Florida fares poorly


› Will Seccombe named to top job at Visit Florida
The new leader of Visit Florida is an inside man. Will Seccombe, who was chief marketing officer at the state’s official tourism marketing corporation for the last four years, has been named president and CEO.

› Christmas tree lots provide welcome employment
Christmas tree lots are not just nostalgic trips down a Currier & Ives memory lane, they provide a few weeks of welcome holiday employment for workers and students in a still struggling economy.

› New-home permits on First Coast up to 4-year high in October
October was the busiest month for single-family building permits in Northeast Florida in more than four years. According to the Northeast Florida Builders Association, 469 permits were issued last month, the most since June 2008. That’s an increase of 110 over September, which is particularly significant because permits almost always fall off this time of year.

› UCF forecast says economy will improve … slowly
UCF is out with its last economic forecast of 2012, and the projections paint a decidedly uninspiring picture. Reduced to its simplest terms, the forecast says things are slowly getting better — the keyword here is slowly — but they could easily be thrown off track.

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› Progress Energy rates will drop more than $7
Progress Energy Florida electric rates will drop $7.16 beginning Jan. 1, a long-expected decrease largely attributable to a refund of costs related to the broken Crystal River nuclear plant.

› Carnival apologizes and says cruise passengers may dress in drag
Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines quickly apologized Tuesday after finding itself in hot water with gay passengers on an upcoming drag cruise, who were told to "refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas" — or be kicked off the liner Glory.

› Record sales on Cyber Monday
More people than ever before are choosing to avoid the long lines and busy parking lots at crowded malls this holiday season and instead shop for gifts online. Based on early results, consumers appear to have boosted Cyber Monday sales by more than 30 percent from 2011.

› Column: Drive, don't text - A Florida law whose time has come
We remain one of the only states in America that does not prohibit drivers who are hurtling down the interstate at high speeds from taking their eyes off the road to type out text messages (hey u want pizza 2nite?) Which is astounding.