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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's Economic Yearbook -- 2013

Map of Florida
Interactive map at Florida Trend's
2013 Economic Yearbook

The outlook for Florida’s 67 counties is brighter than it has been in years. The economy hasn't returned to pre-recession levels, but improvement is steady if slow. Today, Florida Trend begins a series on the state's economy. Up first:

» Statewide statistics
 at this interactive map. Stats on Florida's population, per capita income, unemployment rate, age and more
» Miami - Dade County:
Jobs, homes and population stats. Businesses to watch, people to watch and economic trends for the region.


Immigration bill envisions new farmworker program

Sweeping immigration legislation taking shape in the Senate will aim to overhaul the nation's agriculture worker program to create a steady supply of labor for farmers and growers, who rely more than any other industry on workers who have come to the country illegally. More from the AP and Highlands Today.

See also:
» What Would Jesus Do? Evangelists Launch Immigration Ad Campaign
» Marco Rubio sits on the immigration fence

Column: With business communication, leave lingo at home

When it comes to effective communication, there are a lot of different opinions. Business communication is different and requires a different approach. It might seem tempting to use lingo, acronyms, and street slang for brevity and a more personable approach. Don’t let that get you into a bad routine. Keep things professional with communications in the business at all times. [Source: Naples Daily News]

Bill would temporarily abolish impact fees for small businesses

Local governments across Florida have been slashing fees charged for new development in recent years to spark economic growth. But state leaders may go a step further and temporarily abolish the fees altogether for small businesses under a bill gaining momentum in the Florida Legislature. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

The battle against obesity in Florida high schools

In Florida, 14.3 percent of high school students were deemed obese in 2012. Jefferson County had the highest rate with 22 percent. St Johns County had the lowest with 10.3 percent. School lunches are part, if not all of the problem. But in addition to federal school lunch standards, each county has its own regulations. Full story from the Miami Herald including an interactive map of obesity in Florida high schools.


› Former senator Bob Graham’s daughter running for Congress [Washington Post]
Former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham’s (D) daughter is joining the family business, launching a campaign for Congress against Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.). Graham, a lawyer who works for the Leon County school district, pitches herself as an independent voice for northern Florida.

› Homestead-Miami Speedway founder dies at 64
South Florida businessman Ralph Sanchez, who founded the Grand Prix of Miami and the Homestead-Miami Speedway, has died. He was 64. Speedway officials confirmed that Sanchez passed away Monday morning following prolonged health problems.

› Reports: Legoland Florida to go public
It's looking as if fans of Legoland Florida may soon be able to invest in its parent company. Merlin Entertainments Group, the England-based owner of the Legoland properties, is preparing to go public, according to published reports.

› Local government holding back jobs recovery?
Miami-Dade has a new anchor to a recovery in hiring: local government. With construction jobs back on the rise, local government now costs Miami-Dade more jobs than the building industry does, according to new revisions of federal labor statistics.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Tourism agency Tampa Bay & Co. picks new leader
Tampa Bay & Co., Hillsborough County's publicly funded, privately run tourism agency didn't have to go far to find its new president and chief executive officer. Santiago Corrada, chief of staff for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, was hired Tuesday.

› As tourism season nears a close, Suncoast numbers look strong
Tourism officials on the Suncoast say it's been a busy visitor season, and many business owners say it's been the best year since the recession. And it’s not just how many visitors are coming, but how much they're spending.

› Miami-Dade commissioners override mayor’s MIA baggage-wrap vetoes
Miami-Dade commissioners upheld their decision to award a lucrative Miami International Airport baggage-wrap contract Tuesday, overriding a pair of vetoes by Mayor Carlos Gimenez. The 11-1 vote marked the first time in Gimenez’s young administration that the board, flexing its collective political muscle, dismissed his executive action.

› Spring training games bring record crowds
A pair of Major League Baseball teams that call Southwest Florida home for spring training shattered attendance records this year, fulfilling predictions by tourism and sports officials.