Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida unemployment rate dips in June
The state Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday released a report that said the June rate was 2.8 percent, down from a revised 2.9 percent in May. The June number represented 303,000 Floridians unemployed in a workforce of 10.633 million. The June rate was a decrease from 4.8 percent in June 2021, when 499,000 people were out of work. [Source: WINK]
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton sees the 6th largest wage increase in the U.S.
On the surface, the economy of the last two years has been extremely favorable to workers. After spiking to nearly 15% early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate today sits around 3.6%. Despite employers’ urgency to hire, labor force participation has been slower to recover, and the “Great Resignation” has workers quitting at historic rates in search of better jobs. But rising inflation over the course of 2021 and 2022 has taken a bite out of rising wages. Year-over-year inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has hovered around or above 8% for much of 2022. Prices for essential expenses like food, shelter, and energy have skyrocketed due to supply challenges. With prices rising so quickly, workers are discovering that their increased pay does not go as far as they had hoped. [Source: SQR]
27, not 17, Florida insurers marked for downgrades. Officials warn of havoc for homeowners
Florida-based insurance companies are bracing for the impact of plans revealed by an Ohio-based financial strength ratings agency to downgrade ratings of a majority of Florida-based property insurers that it evaluates. Angry letters from Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis released on Thursday blasted the ratings firm Demotech and its CEO Joe Petrelli for telling “approximately 17″ insurers that their A ratings, which stand for “Exceptional” or “Unsurpassed,” will be downgraded on July 26 to S “substantial,” or M “moderate.” [Source: South Florida SunSentinel]
Florida school sales tax holiday starts today, July 25: Here's what you can get tax-free
The school sales tax holiday in Florida starts Monday. Here are most of the items you can buy missing the state's 6% tax and Palm Beach County's extra penny sales tax. The holiday ends Aug. 7. [Source: Source]
Fintech expands in Fort Lauderdale, plans to employ 100
BHG Financial is in the process of increasing its floor plan on the 11th floor at 201 E. Las Olas Blvd. to 10,000 square feet from 3,000 square feet, said Jasmine Heard, communications coordinator for the company. Fort Lauderdale brokerage Dynasty Realty Group represented BHG Financial in the lease negotiations. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Will Florida’s improved electric vehicle infrastructure convince people to buy an EV?
The Department of Energy reported sales of electric vehicles grew nationwide by 85 percent from 2020 to 2021. Florida ranks second to California, with close to 96,000 registered electric vehicles — up from 58,000 a year ago.
› Omicron has shattered what we know about COVID reinfections. Here’s why you may be vulnerable.
Initially, enduring COVID had one redeeming quality: It gave you some short-term immunity from getting infected again. But the new omicron subvariants are shattering that trend. BA.5, which now makes up 66% of COVID cases in Florida, has caused more people to catch COVID for the second or third time than previous strains.
› More inclusive titles are coming for workers at Disney’s dress-up shops in Florida and California
When Disney reopens its Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique shops at resorts in Florida and California next month, the workers who help children dress up as their favorite animated characters will have new, more gender inclusive titles. The workers will be referred to as Fairy Godmother’s Apprentices instead of Fairy Godmothers-in-Training, as they were called before the shops closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
› Deadline to register to vote, change party affiliation is Monday, July 25
Voters can go to the Supervisor of Elections Office or other places like the library or the Tax Collector’s Office to register or make changes. But the easiest and fastest way to do it is online. Registering or updating online is easy through RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov. You’ll need to have a Florida Driver’s License or ID card, plus the last four digits of your social security number.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
In case you missed it:
Can Florida ensure tech advancements better connect patients and health providers?
Lacking counselors, schools turn to the booming business of online therapy