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Thursday's Daily Pulse

In Florida, 'seasonal' employment means all winter

Seasonal hiring is taking a holiday of its own in the weeks before Christmas and New Year’s Day, but recruiting is forecast to pick up again in the first weeks of 2013. After Christmas, customer demand won’t drop off as steeply as it does in many Northern markets and many of those holiday jobs will likely last longer. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

» Shoppers, stores brace for holiday finish line

One third of Americans cut back spending because of Fiscal Cliff

A third of Americans are cutting back spending because of their fears over the so-called fiscal cliff -- if Washington can't agree on a compromise, according to a new poll from Palm Beach County-based Bankrate.com. One in three polled said they have reined in spending in the last 30 days while another Bankrate.com survey found that Americans are feeling the least financially secure in a year. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Credit cards are back as preferred way to buy holiday gifts

With one in every three consumers failing to save in advance for the holiday season — and more people feeling confident enough this year to buy big- ticket items like homes and new cars — more consumers are finding themselves strapped for cash. To bridge the gap and still be able to fulfill holiday purchases, the largest numbers of consumers since before the Great Recession began are turning to credit cards. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida's minimum wage going up

Florida's minimum wage is going up by 12 cents per hour to $7.79 on Jan.1 due to an increase in the cost of living. The National Employment Law Project on Wednesday reported 210,000 Floridians will benefit from the increase. It's expected to add an average of $370 to their annual wages and $46.2 million to the state's gross domestic product. [Source: AP]

Workers optimistic for better year in 2013

U.S. workers said they are hopeful for a better year in 2013 when it comes to jobs and the economy, in a recent survey by Randstad, a global staffing firm. According to the survey, 57 percent of employees believe they are likely to receive a raise in 2013, up 10 percent from last year. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Tampa Bay's economic recovery picking up steam
Tampa Bay's economy finally has momentum on its side. A year ago, Tampa Bay was pinged for eking out the third weakest economic recovery from the Great Recession among the country's 100 largest metros. The latest snapshot released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution is a bit more uplifting.

› Miami-Dade court puts foreclosures on fast track
Miami-Dade Circuit Court is aggressively setting foreclosure cases for trial as it tries to clear the backlog that ensued from the ‘robo-signing’ delays.

› Hotels battle headwinds in November
Orlando hotels couldn't hold the line on price last month, with the International Drive area and the luxury category reporting some of the sharpest declines. Hotels in the area filled 63.6 percent of their rooms on an average night in November, compared with 63.7 percent in November 2011.

› Carnival Ecstasy leaving Port Canaveral
The Carnival Ecstasy will be pulling out of Port Canaveral as part of a repositioning of ships by the world’s largest cruise line. The Ecstasy will be sailing out of Miami starting in January 2014. But Bruce Deardoff, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners, indicated that there may be an announcement soon of a new ship coming to Port Canaveral.

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› Company plans seaplane service center at Leesburg airport
A Minnesota aviation company plans to open a regional service center next year at the Leesburg International Airport, potentially bringing 60 new jobs and building a multimillion-dollar hangar and office complex.

› Survey shows better lending climate in Miami
Most Miami-Dade businesses believe they have easier access to borrowed money amid a slowly improving economy. That’s one result from a recent survey of executives by Miami’s Bilzin Sumberg law firm. The online survey of about 200 top executives was conducted during the second half of 2012.

› Port St. Lucie markets former Digital Domain headquarters to tenants
For lease: Lightly used 115,000-square-foot building. Easy access to I-95. Includes movie theater with freshly reupholstered seats.

› Tampa International Airport says hello to food trucks and goodbye to curbside parking
Starting today, drivers will no longer be allowed to idle in the red and blue arrival lanes waiting to pick somebody up. Also starting this week, the airport will allow one or two food trucks to park at the airport's cell phone waiting lot.