October 5, 2022

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/19/2022

Florida's jobless rate is below the national average and at a level before the COVID-19 pandemic

Florida’s unemployment rate might be about as low as it can go as it remained at 2.7% in August. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday released a report showing the rate unchanged from July. Jimmy Heckman, the department’s chief of workforce statistics and economic research, said while the state has seen “very consistent unemployment rate decreases over the past couple of years,” economic theory would indicate “we're probably getting pretty close to the bottom here.” [Source: WGCU]

Things are complicated for NASA's next Artemis launch attempt

A complicated series of hardware fixes and timelines are impacting NASA's attempts at launching its Artemis I moon mission, pushing the planned liftoff to no earlier than the end of this month and potentially October. Beyond the leaky hydrogen issue, further complicating Artemis I's schedule are the need for a waiver from the Space Force, an upcoming SpaceX launch that will take astronauts to the International Space Station from a neighboring pad, and Florida's iffy weather. [Source: Florida Today]

Businesses speak out about Florida’s $11 minimum wage increase

The minimum wage is increasing in Florida at the end of September and many businesses and employers are sounding off about the wage increase. In the second increase under a 2020 constitutional amendment, Florida’s minimum wage will go to $11 an hour starting Sept. 30. The minimum wage would increase by a dollar each year at the end of September. By Sept. 30, 2026, the minimum wage will be at least $15 an hour in Florida. [Source: WJXT]

This is how much Florida has paid an aviation company to relocate ‘unauthorized aliens’

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration last week paid an aviation company $615,000 as part of a new Florida program to relocate undocumented immigrants out of the state, according to state records. Records show the company, Vertol Systems Company Inc., was paid on Sept. 8. A week later, DeSantis took credit for sending a group of 48 migrants — most, if not all, from Venezuela — to Martha’s Vineyard, a summer island destination for the rich and powerful in Massachusetts. Vertol Systems’ website shows it is based in Hillsboro, Oregon, but has operations in Destin in Florida’s Panhandle. [Source: Miami Herald]

In pay and at the office, South Florida workers still appear to hold the upper hand, but for how long?

Practically every industry that is important to South Florida is experiencing job growth, from leisure and hospitality to trade and transportation to construction, manufacturing and financial services. Despite the upsides, there continues to be a restiveness across the job market as employers in growth-minded industries are still experiencing a hard time attracting and keeping talent. And a push for higher wages may soon clash with surging inflation, which in turn could lead to a recession and a slowing of the red-hot job market. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› First unionized Starbucks in Florida goes on strike
Eight months after voting to become the first unionized Starbucks in Florida, the N. Monroe & John Knox store participated in an all-day unfair labor practice strike on Sept. 5, 2022. The strike was backed by local activist organizations such as FSU Students for a Democratic Society and the Tallahassee Community Action Committee.

› Nemours and JEA plan separate renovations
Nemours Children’s Health will undergo a major overhaul to the fifth floor of the iconic hospital on downtown Jacksonville’s Southbank. The current hematology and oncology outpatient facilities will be relocated to make room for the renovation. The permits for the project were approved this month by the Jacksonville Building Inspections Division. JEA is about to begin work renovating an existing building so the utility can relocate its emergency operations center.

› Sarasota Contemporary Dance plans 17th season of mostly new work
After two years of interrupted performances and a cautious return for audiences, Sarasota Contemporary Dance is ready to “Reclaim” its place in the area’s arts scene. “We are reclaiming all of it. Reclaiming the stage, telling the stories and presenting more rising choreographers than ever before,” said co-founder and artistic director Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, who is preparing her company’s 17th season.

› Ever been to an NFT restaurant? South Florida is getting one called Vinyl Fish Club
The dues are virtual, but the food is real. That’s the way it is at Vinyl Fish Club in downtown West Palm Beach, a private-membership restaurant slated to debut in October but already hosting culinary pop-up events under the moniker “Motel No-Tell.” The venue, formerly the Kurafuto restaurant, is being billed as “South Florida’s first NFT membership restaurant.”

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