August 4, 2021

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 6/21/2021

Florida wrestles with 500,000 job openings as 503,000 remain out of work

Florida now has about one job opening for every out-of-work resident, new state data showed Friday. The state added 35,800 private sector jobs last month, its 13th consecutive month of job growth. Yet more than 500,000 jobs remain available in Florida, despite an almost equal number of people, 503,000, saying they are out of work and looking for a job. [Source: Miami Herald ]

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Publisher's column: The right direction

Since this is our annual higher education issue, I thought it would be appropriate to share my recent experience with one of Florida’s universities. As you may recall, my wife, Jessica, and I have four children — one who graduated years ago, two still enrolled at Florida Gulf Coast University and a daughter who just graduated from FGCU. Given the pandemic, we were not sure whether our daughter would get to experience a traditional graduation ceremony. However, we were thrilled to find out late this spring that FGCU would offer a hybrid ceremony that followed CDC guidelines. Given how successful this hybrid model was, it’s impossible not to wonder whether some of these new protocols might become standard operating procedures in the future. [Source: Florida Trend]

Misinformation is keeping Floridians from getting vaccinated, USF survey shows

A new survey shows Florida’s vaccination efforts are being hampered by misinformation and political polarization. University of South Florida researchers surveyed 600 residents across the state, and 36 percent of respondents said they have not yet received the coronavirus vaccine while 16 percent said they no intention of getting vaccinated in the future. The answers of those respondents reveal what researchers call the “most significant drivers of vaccine hesitancy.” [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida leads nation in number of new HIV cases

New data just released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Florida now leads the nation in the number of new HIV cases. The CDC says that number for 2019 stood at nearly 4,400. The same report shows the Sunshine State has 23.7 cases overall per 100,000 people. That’s compared to 13.2 for all of the U.S. [Source: WJXT]

Federal judge throws out CDC’s cruise safety regulations, handing win to DeSantis

A federal judge threw out U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety rules for cruise companies operating in Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic Friday, handing a victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis. In a 124-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday of the Middle District of Florida said the agency’s “conditional sail order” — a framework of regulations dictating how cruises can restart in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic — can remain in place for Florida cruises only until July 18, granting DeSantis’ request for a preliminary injunction while the full case moves forward. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Food costs are way up, and Tampa Bay restaurants are feeling the crunch
Crispy, spicy, stick-to-your-fingers Korean-fried chicken wings — that’s the dish that put Mee Ae Wolney’s business on the map. Wolney credits those wings with helping her food truck Anju succeed, leading to her St. Petersburg restaurant of the same name. Those wings are still her top-selling item. But following a price surge on chicken — and chicken wings, in particular — Wolney is facing a conundrum: raise her prices or eat a big part of the cost herself. Taking the wings off the menu just isn’t an option.

› FPL says cyberattack threats will exist ‘forever’
Foreign criminals are working relentlessly to disrupt the computer networks that manage America’s energy, water and food delivery systems. Some do it to commit terrorism. Some seek cheap thrills. Others extort companies into paying millions of dollars in ransom. Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light, acknowledges that threats of cyberattacks against FPL and other critical suppliers are likely to last “forever.”

› Wages rising for some as more tech workers, other high-earners move to Jacksonville
Salaries of people moving into Jacksonville have been rising substantially faster than incomes of people already living here, new data from the Internal Revenue Service shows. Over 10 years, the average adjusted gross income of households moving into Duval County rose 49.4 percent, reaching $58,124 on tax forms filed for 2019, according to information the IRS released last month.

› Universal Orlando looks to hire 1,000 restaurant workers
Universal Orlando is hiring more than 1,000 restaurant employees for the theme park resort. Positions are full-time and part-time and include wait staff, bartenders, line cooks, cashiers, dishwashers and quick service personnel, according to a news release. Universal recently announced it was raising its starting pay to $15 an hour. There are also “numerous” culinary positions available with a starting pay rate of $15.50, Universal said, as well as Food & Beverage management roles with comprehensive benefits packages.

Trend Mention

Mention ImageUF research spending at record $942.2 million in 2020 despite pandemic

UF Research spending reached a record $942.2 million in fiscal year 2020, despite a two-month pause in most operations due to the pandemic. According to a new report to the National Science Foundation, research expenditures supported by the federal government increased to $397.2 million, while state and local expenditures increased to $169.2 million. Learn about ongoing UF research in areas such as Alzheimer’s, early childhood learning and agriculture.

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Competitors in this week’s American Cornhole World Championships warm up before Saturday’s final competition at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. 

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