Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Are Florida’s job gains stalling? New state unemployment assistance claims rise by 4,700
Florida’s breakneck economic gains amid an aggressive reopening may be stalling, as new applications for unemployment assistance climbed for the second time in three weeks, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. For the week ending April 24, new unemployment claims climbed from 18,838 to 23,600. While that remains well below the highs seen at the outset of the pandemic, it is nearly five-times above pre-pandemic levels. More from the News Service of Florida and the Miami Herald.
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Nasa’s gigantic SLS rocket arrives in Florida on equally gigantic barge
NASA’s long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS) is finally beginning to take shape. Following a number of impressive engine tests, the various components of the first full spacecraft have all arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, including the newly arrived core stage. That part of the mega-rocked floated up to the spaceport on a 310-foot barge earlier this week. More from Extreme Tech and NASA.
CDC lets cruise lines know that sailing could restart by mid-July
Cruise lines may be getting the green light to return to sailing from U.S. ports by mid-July, according to a letter sent to industry heads by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a report from USA Today, which obtained a copy of the letter, the CDC states it agrees with the stance that sailing on a cruise ship will never be a zero-risk activity. CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey told the newspaper that the letter means cruise lines could begin passenger sailings from U.S. ports by mid-July,. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida’s Disney and Publix offer vaccine bonus pay if employees hit the target
Walt Disney World in Orlando has joined Publix and other companies in offering incentives in the form of cash bonuses to employees who get vaccinated for COVID-19. Disney staffers, termed “cast members” by the House of Mouse, who are fully vaccinated by Sept. 30 are eligible for a one-time payment equal to four hours of pay, Disney World spokeswoman Erica Ettori told the Orlando Sentinel. The offer applies to employees who opt for either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Raymond James sets records with more than $1 trillion in client assets
St. Petersburg’s Raymond James Financial posted a strong quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, announcing company records for revenues, income and total client assets — which, for the second straight quarter, were valued at more than $1 trillion. That’s trillion. With a T.
› Brevard restaurants adjust hours, days of operation as staffing shortages worsen
Almost 15 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants continue to struggle. While diners are back in droves, cooks and servers aren't. "A year ago we were worried we were going to lose our business to COVID," said Billy Graham, who owns Papa Vito's Italian Restaurant in Cape Canaveral with his wife Shiloh. "Now we're worried and stressed about having enough staff to stay open." The problem has worsened in recent weeks, forcing restaurants across the Space Coast to cut hours and days of operation.
› The Fortegra Group Inc. withdraws plans for IPO
The Fortegra Group Inc. withdrew plans for an initial public offering April 29, the day the Jacksonville-based specialty insurance company was expected to begin trading. Fortegra sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission saying “it has determined not to pursue the initial public offering.”
› Zoo Miami claws its way back from covid
Some of Miami-Dade’s family-friendly animal-related attractions are seeing increasing crowds heading into summer, and staff say this could finally be the year that Zoo Miami hits the million-visitor mark. County-owned Zoo Miami has seen large, though socially distanced, crowds since December and last month over 120,000 guests visited the zoo, topping March 2019 numbers, said Cindy Castelblanco, director of marketing and integrated communications for the Zoo Miami Foundation.
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