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Friday's Daily Pulse

Fewer unemployed in Florida? Maybe

While 182,000 more Floridians have gone back to work in the past year, another factor accounts for more than half of the gains suggested by the declining unemployment rate: even in these days of apparent recovery, discouraged job seekers continue to drop out of the labor force. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

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» New unemployment numbers for Fla. due out

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida law: Wet suits

DiveBar is a 2-year-old south Florida-based group that calls itself the “first underwater Bar association for legal professionals.” In May, DiveBar organized a trip to Belize, where attorneys dove with whale sharks. There was a trip to the Bahamas this year, too, along with numerous diving excursions closer to home, from Jupiter to Key West to Venice. Full story.

Florida has lowest rate of workers holding multiple jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report on rates of people holding multiple jobs and, at 3.4 percent, Florida had the lowest multiple-jobholding rate of any state. Women are more likely to hold multiple jobs than men, and whites are more likely to hold multiple jobs than people in other racial groups. Read more from Business Insider and the BLS.

Collecting wine: A fruitful asset

For those with the money to pour in, wine can be a lucrative investment. An index measuring the value of 100 top wines has risen 130 percent since the end of 2005, double the total return of the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. Optimists expect the wine market to grow as the wealthy become even wealthier, especially in China and the rest of Asia. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]

Florida spends $42M from federal small business credit program

Florida has distributed $42.1 million to grow local small businesses through the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative since the program began in 2010, which includes funding of venture capital projects. Only California and Illinois deployed more money from the program. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]


› New, culinary-themed hotel opens in Tampa
In the past, the Tampa Bay region hasn't been high on a foodie's travel bucket list. Sure, there are some tasty Cuban sandwiches in Tampa and fresh grouper in restaurants along the Gulf of Mexico. But cutting-edge culinary trends haven't surfaced here - until now.

› Late delivery? Davie startup helps get refunds
A new startup company in Davie is focused entirely on helping businesses and people file successful claims with package delivery companies such as FedEx and UPS for late or damaged shipments.

› Reptile group sues to overturn python ban
A reptile industry trade group has gone to court to overturn a federal ban on the import of four species of large snake, including the Burmese pythons that have infested the Everglades.

› Florida gets biggest share of Ocwen settlement
Ocwen Financial Corp. agreed to a $2.1 billion joint state-federal settlement, resolving allegations of mortgage servicing misconduct.
» Related: Florida to get highest relief from $2B mortgage case

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› Commentary: Citrus Bowl transformation involves much more than national title game
The recent announcement that Tampa will host the 2017 college football national title game ratchets up the pressure on Orlando to make things happen across the I-4 corridor. FCS officials will get things rolling by submitting a bid this summer for the 2018 and 2019 title games. But the Citrus Bowl makeover is a bit more complicated than that.

› Envision Alachua Produces Local Jobs
Delivering on requests from the community that the company target local workers for employment opportunities arising from Envision Alachua, Plum Creek has hired 10 Alachua County residents to install road signs as public notice of the company’s pending land-use-change application to Alachua County.

› Nonprofit, investment banking firm team up to offer new funding network
The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research and Dawson James Securities have teamed up help Florida’s promising innovative companies, from early stage through Initial Public Offering.

› Liberty group sues Tampa Port Authority over scuttled Channelside deal
Liberty Channelside LLC, which tried to buy Channelside Bay Plaza over the summer, has filed suit in federal court alleging that the Tampa Port Authority sabotaged and then scuttled the Liberty deal so that the port could strike its own deal for the waterfront complex.