Florida gained almost half a million jobs in 2021
Florida jobs numbers are out for 2021. As compared to 2020, the state gained close to half a million jobs, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity Of those jobs, over 50,000 were created among the health and education sector. The actual figures note 479,300 jobs were created; among those 51,900 health and education jobs were added. In 2021 the total job growth increased to 5.6%. [Source: WWSB]
NASA delays SLS roll out to March, sets up late spring for Moon mission debut
On Wednesday, NASA announced that its SLS rocket and uncrewed Orion capsule won’t roll out to its launch pad until at least March, setting up a late spring launch date for its mission to the Moon. Agency officials revealed in a statement Wednesday, “While the teams are not working any major issues, engineers continue work associated with final closeout tasks and flight termination system testing.” The megarocket will remain inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center during the completion of the pre-flight tests. [Source: Florida Today]
Flood of COVID-19 home foreclosures didn’t happen in Florida, rest of US
After fears that an end to the pandemic-induced moratorium on foreclosures would lead to a wave of homelessness, 2021 had the fewest foreclosures on record, and experts are saying they aren’t likely to rise much this year. The trend is contributing to the already tight US housing inventory and putting more pressure on prices. There were foreclosure filings on 151,153 properties nationwide in 2021, a 29% drop from 2020, according to a study by foreclosure analysts Attom. Florida recorded foreclosures on 19,627 properties, an 8% drop from last year. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Plan to have state take over regulating vacation homes clears second hurdle
The latest Senate attempt to create a statewide vacation rental homes licensing system and preempt local controls cleared its second committee Wednesday. Republican Sen. Danny Burgess’ bill (SB 512) squeaked through the Senate Community Affairs Committee, in part on committee members’ expressed faith that he would improve the bill before it could reach the floor. There have been numerous previous attempts over more than a decade to bring Florida’s vacation rental industry under a statewide regulatory umbrella. More from the Orlando Business Journal and Florida Politics.
What is an H2-A visa? How migrant workers are able to legally work in Florida
The program allows for both seasonal work, restricted to certain times of year tied to a particular event or growing pattern, and temporary work, which lasts no longer than a year. It was started to compensate for an insufficient number of domestic workers, especially in Florida citrus groves. [Source: WKMG]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
With a new cookie, Orlando Girl Scouts hope for sweeter sales after pandemic slump
Girl Scout Amelia Skena’s fast start to cookie sales could help her troop raise enough money to achieve a long-term goal of traveling to Savannah this fall or winter. They have been saving for the trip to the city where Girl Scouts started for about five years, but in 2021 the 16-year-old from Orlando struggled to sell all her cookies amid the pandemic. Things are looking up this cookie season, with a new brownie-inspired cookie called Adventurefuls joining the lineup of Thin Mints, Caramel deLites and other classics treats at $5 a box.
› Hillsborough extends growth moratorium in rural area
New growth applications are still on hold in the rural area of Balm in southern and eastern Hillsborough County. Hillsborough County Commissioners on Wednesday extended a moratorium on new land rezoning applications for up to a year in the wake of a court challenge to newly adopted changes to the county’s development rules.
› During Black History Month, Coke Florida continues its tradition of providing technology in urban communities
The fourth largest Black-owned business in the United States, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, LLC (Coke Florida), kicks off its 2022 celebration of Black History Month by continuing its tradition of technology donations to urban communities. Florida cokethe local, independent Coca-Cola bottler, will deliver an annual campaign focused on two of its community pillars: education and economic empowerment.
› Miami agrees to do something about its peacock problem
Peacocks could be on the outs in some South Florida neighborhoods after the Miami-Dade commission agreed to loosen a law protecting the birds. While the 20-year-old law still protects peacocks from harm, commissioners agreed Tuesday to allow cities to opt out if they present appropriate plans to humanely remove the divisive birds from areas where they’re not wanted.
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