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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Florida's job growth may have slowed in July

Florida's jobs report for July won't be out for another week, but based on a sneak peak Wednesday, we might want to shut our eyes. ADP estimated that Florida added only 12,250 private-sector jobs last month, a sharp fall-off from the 17,440 new jobs cranked out in June and far less than other populous states. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida plays key role on immigration

Florida has emerged as a pivotal player in the national immigration debate, the home of leading advocates for reform and of undecided Republicans who could determine the fate of sweeping legislation in Congress. As a result, advocates on both sides are pressuring lawmakers in the state during the congressional recess, trying to influence them through mass rallies, demonstrations outside their offices and a big turnout at their town hall meetings. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida's jobs recruiter may get hefty bonus for work

Florida's top official in charge of recruiting jobs to the state could be getting a $70,000 bonus. Enterprise Florida, the organization set up to lure companies to the state, will consider the bonus for President and CEO Gray Swoope when its board meets Thursday. [Source: AP]

» Enterprise Florida's plan for $630K in staff bonuses catches flak

Florida CFO: Why aren't insurance rates dropping?

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater wants to know why homeowner insurance rates aren't dropping. Atwater sent a letter Wednesday to Florida's insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, noting that one of the main costs for insurers has been going down this year. He asked McCarty why those savings weren't being passed along to consumers. [Source: AP]

Florida Virtual School lays off hundreds as enrollment plummets

The school says its first-ever layoffs were necessary because FLVS is experiencing another first: an enrollment drop. Of 32 percent. As of July 23, 12,028 students had pre-enrolled in online courses for August and September, down from last year's pre-enrollment figure of 17,878. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Profit doubles for Universal, Florida’s largest private property insurer
Universal Insurance Holdings, the largest private home insurance company in Florida, saw its profits more than double in the second quarter despite facing a regulatory fine. The Fort Lauderdale-based company (NYSE: UVE), which owns Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co., had a profit of $17 million, up from a profit of $7.8 million in the same quarter a year ago.

› Central Florida aviation industry shows signs of growth, promising careers
According to a report from the Federal Aviation Administration, commercial aviation is responsible for 4.9 to 5.2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, bringing with it about $1.3 trillion and around 10.5 million jobs.

› Renowned designer Perla Liche opens in Coral Springs
From small condos to palaces in the Middle East, Africa and other far-flung locales, Perla Lichi has spent nearly three decades creating high-end interior designs. Now the globe-trotting designer is unveiling her U.S. headquarters in Coral Springs.

› Preparing Miami's link to India markets
The India-USA Chamber of Commerce Inc. South Florida is planning a workshop at St. Thomas University to discuss business opportunities for local firms looking to enter the Indian market, outlining four economic sectors — education, travel/leisure, real estate and healthcare — with the best growth potential and highest return on investment.

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› Mosaic Makes Deal With Saudi Arabian Mining Co.
The Mosaic Co.'s 25 percent stake in a new Saudi Arabian fertilizer plant will not impact the company's Florida phosphate operations based in Polk County, company spokesmen said.

› Cars that rent by hour coming to downtown Orlando
A small fleet of automobiles that can be rented for $8 an hour should be coming to downtown Orlando by mid-October, the state said Wednesday. Hertz 24/7 will place a total of 12 cars at six locations, ranging from the CNL building on Orange Avenue to the Florida Hospital campus near College Park.

› Corps plans update on Lake Okeechobee releases
Water levels in Lake Okeechobee have risen to nearly 16 feet. The rising water levels in the shallow lake have prompted the Army Corps of Engineers to fully open locks around the lake to release water and protect the aging Herbert Hoover Dike.

› In Miami-Dade, same-day delivery service is back in vogue
Time-strapped and convenience-hungry consumers have long dreamed of getting their dry-cleaning or the newest Blu-ray release brought to their doorsteps with the ease of a pizza delivery. A growing crop of companies wants to make that kind of on-demand delivery a reality.