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Monday's Afternoon Update

Florida ranks in top five states for unemployment recovery

Florida’s unemployment claims have recovered fourth quickest in the country since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeing 13 consecutive months of job growth. Not all states are recovering at the same rate, according to a WalletHub study that compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C. based on changes in unemployment claims for several key benchmark weeks. Florida came in at No. 4 behind New Hampshire, South Carolina and South Dakota for states most recovered since the beginning of the pandemic. More from the Tam pa Bay Business Journal.

‘A wake up call’: Miami hotel workers resist going back to low-wage normal

For weary, strapped hotel workers, the “back to normal” promise of the COVID-19 vaccine holds little allure. After suffering the shock of abrupt layoffs in March 2020 when hotels closed, many workers say they are now reevaluating what they need from employers. Meanwhile, South Florida’s critical hospitality industry — like many low-wage sectors — is struggling to find enough workers to keep the beds made and the dinners served. More from the Miami Herald.

Florida lawmakers push for seasonal crop protections

In the past decades, trade deals with Mexico have left Florida farmers frustrated. That continued after the negotiation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement. Now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants relief for the state’s vital agriculture industry. More from Fresh Plaza.

Tampa’s Pilot Bank selling to Michigan credit union in $96 million deal

Tampa’s Pilot Bank is being sold to a credit union in Michigan, the companies announced Monday. In an all-cash deal, Lake Michigan Credit Union will pay $6.25 per share for Pilot Bank, which has six locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties. Based on the number of outstanding shares, that works out to more than $96 million. Stock options would raise it to around $100 million. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream auditions provide opportunities as live entertainment returns to theme parks

Lea Marinelli felt the nerves as she waited for her turn, finally, after the pandemic had swiped live auditions from her calendar. Without one for 15 months, Marinelli, a familiar face performing at theme parks, had found work hosting online trivia. But she returned to in-person auditions as SeaWorld Orlando launches a massive summer hiring spree for Howl-O-Scream, the park’s new late-night scary Halloween event. The first of many auditions for singers and dancers began last week. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Out of the Box 
Famed escapee Buddy the beefalo adjusting to life in Florida

 A bison hybrid who roamed the woods in Connecticut for months after escaping on the way to the slaughterhouse has adjusted to life in a Florida animal sanctuary. Buddy the beefalo “has fully integrated into the herd” and has not tried to escape since the second day after he arrived at Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary in Gainesville, the facility posted on Facebook this month.

» More from the AP.


Business Observer
Swedish electric boat company sets logistics base in Sarasota with plans for growth

floridaSwedish entrepreneur Konrad Bergström trademarked and founded X Shore globally in 1996. By 2012, he began to work on crafting an electric boat, eventually completing the first working prototype in 2016. After reconfigurations, the company launched Eelex 8000 in September 2020 and has been turning heads ever since.

» Read more from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.