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Friday's Afternoon Update

Florida unemployment drops to lowest level in 4 years

Florida's unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent last month, matching the national rate and plunging to its lowest point since October 2008, state data released today show. The state added 7,800 jobs last month, nudging the jobless rate down from January's revised rate of 7.9 percent. But the number of jobs created was still fewer than January, when the state added more than 15,000 jobs. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.

Dave Barry is a 'Florida Icon'


» Apparently, you’ve run down all the real icons there ever were in Florida. It’s a sad commentary on the state that I would be iconic. I can see myself being iconic in Delaware. There’s Joe Biden and then who?

» Rick Scott and Charlie Crist? It’s the lizard against the traffic cone running for governor. And people ask why I think politics is funny.

» Dave Barry is a 'Florida Icon'

Florida House releases its education budget plan

Among the highlights, the House would set aside $674.6 million that school districts could use for raises, bump up per-student funding by 6.2 percent, and increase school recognition funding to $125 per student at receiving schools. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida ranks third in human trafficking complaints

When it comes to human sex trafficking, many people believe it doesn’t happen where they live. But Florida is one of the most common places for sex trafficking. In fact, according to the state attorney general, Florida ranks third in the country when it comes to the number of complaints they received into the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's human trafficking hotline. [Source: Central Florida News]

» FRIDAY PREVIEW: Coming next week to FloridaTrend.com:

  • Economic Yearbook: FLORIDA TREND’S 45th edition of Economic Yearbook features a roundup of economic activity in each of Florida’s 67 counties plus statistics on jobs, homes and populations.
  • Rich Floridians: Florida’s 25 wealthiest residents including Mike Fernandez, Florida’s newest billionaire.
  • Richest neighborhoods: Florida's wealthiest zip codes.

» You'll find all these stories first on the Daily and Afternoon Pulse e-mails.

Dining Debut
National burger chain chews Florida debut

freddys Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a Wichita, Kan.-based chain of eateries with locations in 14 states, will make its Florida debut in east Manatee County. Founded in 2002 and franchised in 2004, Freddy’s is known for cooked-to-order steakburgers, shoestring fries and custard desserts.

» Full story from the Business Observer

» Freddy's official site