Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida January jobless rate at 2.6 percent
With service-related jobs topping employment gains, Florida’s unemployment rate dipped slightly as 2023 began. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on Monday released a report showing the January jobless rate at 2.6 percent, down from a revised rate of 2.7 percent in December and down from 3.5 percent in January 2022. An estimated 286,000 Floridians qualified as out of work in January from a workforce of 10.855 million. The workforce grew by 15,000 from December and by 259,000 from January 2022. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Michael Yaworsky confirmed by Florida Cabinet as new insurance commissioner
With little comment, state Cabinet members Monday signed off on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ selection of Michael Yaworsky to serve as Florida insurance commissioner amid soaring rates for property insurance in the state. Yaworsky, who became interim commissioner last month, is a former vice chairman of the Florida Gaming Control Commission. He succeeds David Altmaier, who had been insurance commissioner since 2016 before stepping down in December. Yaworksy takes over the job amid an insurance crisis that has led to double- and sometimes triple-digit rate increases for homeowners and many small insurers becoming insolvent or leaving the state. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Gas prices are changing in Florida. How the spring driving season affects your wallet
With two of every five Floridians planning to hit the road for a spring vacation, gasoline prices have started to increase. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas Monday in Florida was $3.31, up 9 cents over the past week, with the highest averages in South Florida and the lowest in the Panhandle. Prices nationally have been on the rise since the start of the month and averaged $3.47 on Monday. More from the News Service of Florida and the Miami Herald.
Trulieve tops $30 million in Florida pot initiative
The medical-cannabis company Trulieve contributed another $5 million last month to a ballot initiative aimed at legalizing recreational use of marijuana, bringing its total contributions to $30.5 million, according to a newly filed finance report. As of Feb. 28, Trulieve had provided all but $124.58 of the money raised by the political committee Smart & Safe Florida. The committee had spent $30.19 million, with almost all of the spending related to petition gathering and verification needed to get on the 2024 ballot. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Can Florida survive climate change? Here’s what the Aspen Ideas: Climate conference had to say
Some of the most pivotal climate-change questions — and potential solutions — focus on Florida. The Sunshine State, with its low elevation and 825 miles of shoreline, make it one of the planet’s most vulnerable locations for both sea-level rise and intensified weather events. So the state took center stage during the second annual Aspen Ideas: Climate conference, calling attention to some of the latest advancements: Wind and wave simulators that help make crucial findings about storms. Concrete hexagonal tubes that cities place off shore to help break up storm surge. A new housing development that withstands hurricanes — without losing power or internet. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Pasco won’t get that expanded scalloping season after all
Scallop lovers may be disappointed. Despite a push from Pasco County and tourism officials, there will not be a longer scallop season this summer and that doesn’t sit well with everyone. But state officials say its for the long-term good of the scallop population.
› Orlando foreclosure activity climbed in February despite nationwide decrease
More foreclosures began in Orlando and across Florida last month, despite a drop-off in foreclosure activity across the U.S. Metro Orlando foreclosure filings in February climbed 23% month over month to 371, while foreclosure filings dropped 3% nationwide, according to a March report by real estate data company Attom Data Solutions LLC.
› Famed national outdoor recreation retail store coming to Sarasota-Manatee
Outdoor and recreation lovers will have a new option for their adventure needs this fall with the opening of outdoor retail giant REI Co-op in Sarasota's University Town Center Mall. Washington-based REI announced the opening of a 25,000-square-foot store Monday, 10 years after the company opened its first Florida location in Jacksonville.
› Jacksonville sees annual job growth in almost all sectors
Jacksonville’s unemployment rate rose in January, a normal seasonal trend after workers hired for the holiday season are let go. However, Northeast Florida continues to see strong job growth, with almost every private industry sector reporting increased payrolls in the past year. The unemployment rate in the Jacksonville metropolitan area of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties rose from a revised 2.2% in December to 2.5% in January, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reported March 13.
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