Companies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to a survey of business economists. Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics said their companies added jobs in the April-June quarter, according to a report released Monday. That’s the highest percentage in nearly two years. [Source: AP]
Retail gas prices jumped another 10 cents across the Southeast last week and the upward trend is not expected to slow down anytime soon. If price trends follow those of 2011 and 2012, motorists could see gas prices rise until mid-September. [Source: Ocala Star-Banner]
A new study that looked at economic mobility across the country found that where you grow up likely plays a big role on how upwardly mobile you become. So how does Florida fare? Not so good. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel , the New York Times and the Tampa Bay Times.
The U.S. Justice Department is suing Florida, saying the state is unnecessarily keeping hundreds of disabled children in nursing homes. Federal officials concluded the state has made it difficult for disabled children to get medical services that would allow them to move home. More from the AP and the Miami Herald. Also see full statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Florida is one of 45 states that has adopted new math, English and literacy standards known as Common Core. Common Core is supposed to prepare students better for college or a career. Teachers will cover fewer topics, but spend more time on each one. And students will spend less time memorizing facts and more time learning to analyze and explain things. [Source: StateImpact Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Univision snags No. 1 TV rating in July [Miami Herald]
Univision beat out all of the major networks this month to claim the No. 1 ranking in a key audience category. The Spanish-language network with headquarters in Doral edged out CBS and NBC for the No. 1 ranking during the week of July 8 for adult TV viewers below the age of 50.
› Back-to-school merchandise hits stores earlier [Tampa Bay Times]
If it seems like back-to-school items are hitting stores earlier than ever, that's because they are. Retailers are stocking shelves with pencils, backpacks and shoes long before the first bell based on the belief that people will buy in dribs and drabs this year rather than all at once.
› In casino fight, Orlando tourism leaders raise the specter of unions [Orlando Sentinel]
Led by Walt Disney World, the Orlando tourism industry is lobbying hard to prevent the construction of Las Vegas-style casinos in Florida, arguing that the multibillion-dollar resorts would undermine the state's family-friendly reputation. But the industry is wary of something else, too: unions.
› Plant City winemakers venture into craft beer [Lakeland Ledger]
After a decade of winemaking, Keel & Curley is venturing into the trendy territory of craft beer. Now under construction, its Two Henrys Brewing Co. should be pouring a line of ales and lagers by fall.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr will cook for Pèrez Art Museum Miami [Miami Herald]
With a small army of workers painting gallery walls and installing lighting fixtures this month, the new Pérez Art Museum Miami is getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors into its 200,000 square feet of bayfront space when it opens in December, in time for Art Basel. And now, the museum has tapped a chef to feed all those hungry art aficionados.
› Jacksonville police, fire pensions not as generous as in other Florida cities [Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville’s police officers and firefighters get less generous pensions than other major Florida cities — but they’re required to put less of their own money into the system.
› Taylor Morrison keeps its focus on home building [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
When the real estate downturn stalled home sales in Southwest Florida and nationwide, Taylor Morrison Home Corp. went on a land-buying binge. The company has banked more than 45,000 lots for future building, nearly 90 percent of them acquired since 2008.
› AT&T to add about 235 jobs in South Florida [South Florida Business Journal]
AT&T said it is looking to fill nearly 235 retail openings in South Florida before the end of October. More than half of the openings are newly created jobs, the company announced Monday.