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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Pat Geraghty
Pat Geraghty
[Photo: Jon M. Fletcher] » More here

Florida Trend Exclusive
Floridian of the Year

Florida Blue CEO Pat Geraghty has staked out a leadership position that is putting his company -- and Florida -- at the forefront of health care trends. Geraghty believes Florida Blue should be a ‘thought leader,’ and he isn’t afraid to speak out about health care policies on a state and national level. Full story.


Will retirees be Florida's economic saviors?

A growing wave of retirees should sweep away some of the real estate skid’s lingering trauma next year, boosting Southwest Florida’s housing market, accelerating job growth and lifting sales across a range of industries. Florida is again forecast to outpace the national recovery in 2014. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


Florida online job demand hits all-time high

The number of available online job openings in Florida increased by 20,789, or 8 percent, in November for a total of 279,789 openings — an all-time high. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]


Florida soars in attracting the aviation industry

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ranked Florida the most attractive state in the nation for companies in the aviation industry. The factors used by PwC in making the determination were: cost (taxes, business climate, energy), workforce (available aerospace technicians, engineers, mechanics, education attainment) and the number of aerospace companies operating. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]


New laws in effect in Florida for 2014

The new year not only ushers in new commitments, it also is the date in which new laws go into effect across the state. One of the most visible laws deals with the manufacturing of light bulbs. More from WTEV and the Naples Daily News.


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› As Florida’s minimum wage goes up, so does political debate over low pay
Minimum-wage workers get a 2 percent raise on Jan. 1, thanks to increasing inflation. The 14-cent hourly bump comes amid a push by Democrats to make the minimum wage a defining issue of 2014.

› South Florida tourism looks bright in 2014
South Florida tourism insiders are expecting the industry to see more growth in 2014 encouraged by its strong performance this year, barring no major socio-economic calamities.

› New insurance era begins
Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years: They had a health insurance card, or at least the promise that one is in the mail.

› European companies find a home in South Florida
European companies are choosing Broward County as the location from which to expand into north and Latin American markets. While many European-based companies have come before them, this recent activity highlights South Florida as an ideal location from which to launch into new markets.


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› Theme parks report big holiday crowds, but no records
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom has turned some guests away at times, and SeaWorld Orlando recorded the second-best day in its history during the annual holiday crunch at Central Florida theme parks.

› Judge nixes Fla.'s welfare drug testing
A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a Florida law requiring applicants for welfare benefits to undergo mandatory drug testing, ruling it was unconstitutional and shouldn't be enforced.

› Scientists harness the sun to help sharks
Researchers are looking to the sun to give hunted and overfished sharks a new ray of hope. Using a special solar-powered tag, marine scientists now can study a shark's movements for up to two years by way of data beamed to satellites.

› Workers start on twin roadways through PortMiami tunnel
Inside the tunnel tubes already excavated under Biscayne Bay, workers have begun building the twin roadways that will carry cargo trucks, tourist buses and private cars from the MacArthur Causeway to the port and back.