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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida sees uptick in jobless claims

Florida saw a slight uptick in new unemployment claims last week, yet the numbers continued to be among the lowest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 8,889 initial jobless claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended June 12, up from a revised count of 6,552 during the week that ended June 5. The department had initially estimated 5,800 claims were filed during the week that ended June 5. [Source: News Service of Florida]

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Homebuyers’ search for low taxes fuels Florida in-migration

With home costs rising across the country, one-in-five prospective homebuyers cite low taxes as a primary reason for leaving one state and moving into another. And Florida, with no income tax and the nation’s seventh-lowest overall tax rate, benefits through “in migration” – for every seven people who moved into Florida between 2013-20, only one left, according to a recently published analysis by Redfin.com, a tech real estate brokerage firm. [Source: The Center Square]

Future Florida launch competition? Georgia spaceport nears FAA approval

After nine years of planning and $10 million invested by local taxpayers, county officials in Georgia’s coastal southeast corner came a big step closer Thursday to winning federal approval of a project engineered to literally inject the local economy with rocket fuel. Since 2012, Camden County on the Georgia-Florida line has doggedly pursued plans to build and operate the 13th licensed U.S. commercial rocket launch pad for blasting satellites into orbit. [Source: AP]

COVID-19 comp claims continue to plunge in Florida

The number of compensable COVID-19 workers compensation indemnity claims in Florida continued to drop drastically in May, according to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. The new report shows the lowest number of such claims — 461 claims in May from a high of 8,390 in July 2020 — since the beginning of the pandemic. Overall, 43,913 indemnity claims have been filed in Florida, according to the latest data. [Source: Business Insurance]


› ‘This is not 2018,’ Gov. DeSantis says of Red Tide in Pinellas
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that the patchy Red Tide bloom off Pinellas County is not like the devastating and persistent algae that hit the area in 2018, and he expects a strong Fourth of July for the local tourism economy. “This is not 2018,” he said. “I think we see some localized (Red Tide), so check whatever, but this is a great place to be. There’s very few places in this country that are as nice as this Tampa Bay region.”

› SpaceX launches GPS satellite on Space Force's first used booster mission
The Space Force is officially on board with SpaceX's rocket reusability efforts. A previously flown, 230-foot Falcon 9 soared from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:09 p.m. Thursday, taking the military branch's latest Global Positioning System satellite to orbit. It marked the first Pentagon-approved flight on a used Falcon first stage.

› WestShore Plaza mall owner files for bankruptcy
Washington Prime Group, a mall company whose properties include WestShore Plaza in Tampa, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Sunday, the company is seeking a financial restructuring that will allow it to pay down debt and stabilize a business model that was hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, as more customers turned online to do their shopping.

› Covius Holdings building-out larger space at Wells Fargo Center
Covius Holdings Inc., led by former EverBank Financial Corp. leaders Rob Clements and John Surface, is preparing to build-out and improve space at its local offices on the 16th floor of Wells Fargo Center Downtown. Clements is chairman and CEO of Covius. Surface is president and COO.

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› Just moved to Florida? Here’s how to avoid tax problems in your new home
Even if you’re new to Florida, you probably know that we have no income tax here. But it’s not enough to just buy a house and unpack your boxes. The wave of newcomers from the Northeast and other states may miss out if they don’t take precautions.

› NASA's mega moon rocket now upright inside the VAB
Three months after arriving by barge, the massive core stage of NASA's moon rocket now stands upright inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. But how do you lift a 212 ft. long piece of hardware that weighs as much as a blue whale from horizontal to vertical and place it between two rocket boosters already in place? In short: very slowly.

› Barbs and praise for Tampa Bay stores that still require masks
It’s been more than a month since the governor suspended coronavirus restrictions statewide, including mask mandates. Since then, most bars, shops and restaurants have adopted the Centers for Disease Control guidelines that fully vaccinated people no longer need masks in most settings. Local schools are following suit, making face coverings optional when students return after summer break. But some Tampa Bay stores are continuing to require masks. That stance has led to heated exchanges, frustrated patrons and even vows to never shop there again.

› Southeastern Grocers building-out Miramar Center liquor store
The city issued a permit June 16 for Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers to build-out a new Winn-Dixie liquor store format in Miramar Center, between the Lakewood and historic San Marco neighborhoods. Williams & Rowe Co. Inc. is the contractor for the $180,000 interior renovation of 8,640 square feet at 4472 Hendricks Ave. The site is at the southern end of the building anchored by Players Grille.