FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Friday's Daily Pulse

Jobless claims at 6-year low, but hiring lags

Americans who have a job may take comfort in knowing that companies are laying off fewer people than at any time since before the Great Recession. Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits have averaged 335,500 over the past month. That's the lowest level since November 2007, which was one month before the recession began. But while most companies have stopped cutting jobs, many remain reluctant to hire. [Source: AP]

See also:
» How is The U.S. Economy Doing? Examining Latest Data [audio]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Steaking their claim: Steak houses in Florida

In Florida’s newest steak houses, bigger, thicker steaks are on the scale. And in the best, chefs have new brags on beef sources and dry-aging and sophistication on the rest of the menu — more seafood is a must, and side dishes, vegetables and desserts are smarter, too. Full story.

Southwest Florida businesses are going green

Some Southwest Florida businesses are doing their part for the environment by selling eco-friendly products and services. Green has become a buzzword for businesses across the country, and many are looking to practice sustainability through their operations, energy use, and products and services. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

Longest drought ever for Florida Lotto

Yes, you haven't won the Florida Lotto this time around, but here's the silver lining: Everyone else has been throwing away losing tickets, too. The Florida Lotto has gone 31 straight drawings without anyone picking the correct six numbers, and that's the longest drought since the game began 25 years ago. No one has hit since April 20. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

CEO turnover reaches highest level in three years

CEO turnover in July jumped to the highest level in three years, a new report said, led by management shuffles at health care companies, nonprofits and financial services companies. Read more from the South Florida Business Journal and the Baltimore Business Journal.


› Keiser University opens Latin American campus
Keiser University will soon have a bit of a Latin flavor to it. The Fort Lauderdale based private university, which has 15 locations throughout the state, is opening its first Latin American campus.

› Odyssey Marine posts quarterly loss of almost $11 million
Revenues for Tampa treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration fell in the second quarter as the company lost nearly $11 million. Total revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was $300,000, down from $1.4 million during the same period a year ago.

› Highwinds tech firm lands $205 million from private-equity firms for expansion
Winter Park-based Highwinds Networks Group Inc. has bagged $205 million in private-equity and other financing from major financiers, including a Goldman Sachs investment fund, the company said Thursday. The fast-growing Internet infrastructure company said the infusion of cash will support an undisclosed number of new jobs locally in areas such as software development and product sales.

› Walt Disney World Marathon sells out for 2014
While you could still find a running spot going through a charity or a tour group, individual registration for the Walt Disney World Marathon has filled up, runDisney reported Thursday. The 2014 race sold out in just four months, one month faster than the 2013 race.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Stein Mart sees $10 million increase in sales for second quarter
Jacksonville-based Stein Mart, Inc., reported the company had an increase in total sales for the second quarter of trading. Stein Mart officials said in a news release Thursday that sales increased to $290.9 million for the second quarter that ended Aug. 3.

› Office Depot's new points rewards program aimed at building loyalty
Office Depot recently launched a new "points" rewards program that it hopes will keep customers coming back to its office-supply stores. The program began in July so there are no significant metrics, but early results are encouraging, said Steven Rado, senior vice president of customer strategy.

› Enterprise Florida board approves $70,000 bonus for CEO
For the second year in a row, Florida's top official in charge of bringing businesses to the state is getting a $70,000 bonus. The board of Enterprise Florida — which includes Gov. Rick Scott — voted Thursday to grant the bonus to president and CEO Gray Swoope. The board also signed off on more than $630,000 in bonuses for other agency employees.

› Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hasn’t given up stadium fight
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, still upset over a failed bid to renovate Sun Life Stadium, is still trying to procure public funding and won’t rule out a return to Tallahassee.