Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Financial services sector bolsters Florida's economic growth in June
Florida's economy remained strong in June, and the financial service sector is partly to thank. Florida's unemployment rate stayed at 3.4 percent from May to June, and the state added 16,100 jobs over the month (up less than 1 percent). It has gained and 218,800 jobs since last June (up 2.5 percent). Business and professional services, which includes the financial service sector, added the second-most jobs between June 2018 and last month (40,500 jobs), following education and health services (54,700 jobs). [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Citrus officials focus on ramped up marketing strategies
The Florida Citrus Department is passing the plate, or perhaps the glass, hoping people are willing to give millions of dollars to expand marketing for orange juice. That was one of the more concrete things the Florida Citrus Commission, the department’s governing body, agreed to during a six-hour workshop on Wednesday. The workshop also included representatives from all the major Florida citrus industry organizations. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]
Floridians may face ballot choices bringing big changes to state
Already pivotal in the race for the White House, voters in Florida may also face ballot choices next year that could dramatically change the shape of future elections, the economy and even how Floridians turn on their lights at home. Ballot campaigns underway could increase the state’s minimum wage, ban assault weapons, add more Floridians to Medicaid coverage, open Democratic and Republican primary elections to all registered voters and clarify that only citizens can vote. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Opening electricity market may lower power bills in Florida. But it’d break up system as we know it.
Imagine electric companies competing on price for your business and being able to choose 100 percent renewable energy such as solar power. That’s happening in Texas and some other states, and electricity “choice” advocates are pushing for that change in Florida. But the possibility of “energy choice” on the 2020 ballot has unleashed a storm of protest by Florida’s utilities, the state attorney general and senate president, and state business groups. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Florida’s ‘pill mills’ were a gateway to the opioid crisis
Florida survives on tourism, but a decade ago thousands of visitors made frequent trips to the state not to visit its theme parks or beaches. Instead, they came for cheap and easy prescription painkillers sold at unscrupulous walk-in clinics. For a while, few in authority did much about it even though it was all done in the open with little oversight. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Debt, lawsuits, big spending led to the death of Laser Spine Institute
The Laser Spine Institute may have closed its doors suddenly in March, but repercussions from the surgery center's business practices continue to reverberate in the courts. Two local lawsuits provide the clearest picture yet of the forces that led the Tampa company to shut down, resulting in the loss of some 500 jobs.
› Following national trend, Alachua County grows older
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Alachua County — whose population is among the youngest in Florida — is following a national trend: the age group growing fastest are those older than 85. Alachua County has grown by about 1% each year since 2010, according to Census estimates, and now stands at about 270,000.
› American crocodiles thriving outside Fla. nuclear plant
American crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot - the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant. Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon.
› Okaloosa boasts lowest jobless rate in Florida
The Okalooosa County metropolitan statistical area boasted Florida’s lowest jobless rate in June, at 2.9 percent, according to figures released by the state Department of Economic Opportunity. Gov. Ron DeSantis touted private-sector job creation Friday as Florida’s unemployment rate held steady from May to June. The 3.4 percent jobless rate for June reflected 349,000 Floridians out of work — down 4,000 from May — from a workforce of 10.3 million.
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