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Friday's Afternoon Update

Florida's battle to fill jobs persists

Job creation has been bountiful since the pandemic, as more entrepreneurs and business executives relocate to South Florida from other parts of the U.S. Yet, while jobs are plentiful, the number of people willing and able to fill them are not. And that’s caused some issues for companies trying to recruit and retain employees. More from the South Florida Business Journal.

Powerhouse Miami group’s big goal: Boost upward mobility for struggling workers

In Miami, famously, it’s now the best of times. Tech and finance firms are moving in. Unemployment is vanishingly low. Construction cranes fill the sky, and the ports are bursting to the seams with visitors and goods. But for far too many Miamians, it’s also the worst of times. Metro Miami has one of the highest rates of economic inequality in the country, and the gap keeps growing. Poverty is up as wages lag and rents and home prices soar, so that even those fully employed can’t afford a place to live. More from the Miami Herald.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan: Everything is on the table for Jaguars stadium renovations

The city of Jacksonville is “still months away” from reaching a renovated stadium agreement with the Jaguars, Mayor Donna Deegan said. She hoped there would be a more substantive idea of the deal by early spring. “We're not close at this point,” Deegan said. “We're still setting up the board at this point. So hopefully after the next meeting, we'll start to get a framework, and then hopefully by early spring, we'll be having a better idea of what we've got.” More from the Florida Times-Union.

Southwest Airlines to shift ‘bulk’ of international operations to Orlando

Southwest Airlines is shifting the bulk of its international operations from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando with plans to add six daily direct flights to the Caribbean and Central America starting in June. Pending government approval, the new routes from Orlando International Airport are to Cancun, Mexico; Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands; Nassau in the Bahamas; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and San José, Costa Rica. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Close Ybor businesses early? No way, community says.

A day after a Tampa council member suggested shuttering businesses early in response to the weekend shooting in Ybor City, residents and business owners flocked to Old City Hall, decrying the proposal as a blow to the historic district and entertainment hub. Newly elected member Gwen Henderson on Wednesday voiced support for closing businesses at 1 a.m. for six months following a shooting that left two people dead and more than a dozen injured early Sunday morning, reigniting discussions about the future of nightlife in Ybor. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

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Florida's youngest senior

When residents at Sun City Center, a sprawling retirement community in West Central Florida, struggle with their electronics, many of them now know who to call on: Maria Hodge, one of their newest residents, and also one of their youngest. Since moving to this 55-plus community last year, Ms. Hodge, 59, has become a fixture among the nearly 11,500 residents, where the average age is 79.

» Read more from the New York Times.