Florida jobless claims remain at pre-pandemic levels
Florida continues to see first-time jobless claims at a similar pace to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state’s economy. The US Department of Labor released a report on Thursday that estimated 5,734 new jobless claims were filed in Florida last week. That was a decrease from a revised figure of 5,925 claims in the week ended Feb. 5, and brought the four-week average of claims to 6,421. The state has averaged 7,201 applications per week since mid-May, as Florida leaders ramped up efforts to push people back into the workforce during the pandemic. More from the Florida Intelligence Service.
Florida will hand out $676 million in mortgage help for homeowners, but the state isn’t saying how you can get it just yet
There is good and bad news for Florida homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgage payments because of the pandemic. The good news is that on February 9, the US Treasury Department approved Florida’s plan to allocate $676 million in federal funds to support homeowners included in America’s $1.9 trillion bailout plan passed in March 2021 – Dollars are included. The not-so-good news: Florida’s program is administered by the Department of Economic Opportunity — the same agency that runs the state’s ailing unemployment system — and the agency hasn’t yet announced when or how it will begin accepting applications. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The legislature is struggling with the insurance catastrophe
Presenting a bleak picture of Florida’s property insurance system, senators on Wednesday backed proposals aimed at boosting the private market while allowing a flood of policies to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to slow now,” said Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman Jim Boyd, a Bradenton Republican who is sponsoring a bill (SB 1728) to try to address the problems. More from the Florida Intelligence Service.
St. Petersburg company is pushing for bill that would ban higher local wages
A St. Petersburg company that paid millions to settle a wage theft is pushing ahead with a controversial bill that would ban local governments from setting a higher minimum wage than the current $10 an hour for employees and contractors. Power Design has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the policy committees of major lawmakers, including the bill’s sponsors. And the company is linked to a mysterious group that is lobbying on behalf of the bill. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Space Balloon Company Flying From Kennedy Space Center Now Accepts Cryptocurrency
A commercial space company planning to fly a giant balloon from the space coast lets you pay with cryptocurrency. Space Perspective, which aims to fly its first passengers aboard its space balloon from Kennedy Space Center’s legacy shuttle landing facility by the end of 2024, announced that it will accept Bitcoin, Ethereum and several other cryptocurrencies as deposits for future flights. The full price for the flights is $125,000, but deposits of $1,000 or more per person can be made using transactions powered by coinbase.com. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Are electric boats the future? You can see them at the Miami International Boat Show
While car engines have been shifting away from gasoline for years, the boating industry is just beginning to catch up. The Miami International Boat Show returns for Presidents Day Weekend after skipping 2021 due to the pandemic. The organizers expect a record 100,000 people and many new things for boating enthusiasts. Among them, several electric boat companies are trying to make their mark and educate the public about what they think the future of boating is.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Micro Wrestling: Small people, big moves, the wrestling show paralyzes Jacksonville
micro wrestling. It is exactly what it sounds like. A wrestling event featuring people who compete little and a smaller production than All Elite Wrestling or World Wrestling Entertainment shows. This is their fifth time holding a show in Jacksonville and they’ve begun to build a following among a crowd of quirky drunken fans.
» Read more from the Florida Times-Union.
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