The Sunshine Economy

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The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

Ways to Connect

Tom Hudson

Mayor Carlos Gimenez started his career as a government employee in 1975. He's still one today, but with a very different perspective. From a firefighter to mayor of Miami-Dade County, he now leads over 25,000 full-time public sector employees.

Tom Hudson

One cost of the federal government slowdown is a delay in the monthly checkup on the nation's job market. The September unemployment report was due out Friday morning, but U.S. statisticians are among those on leave until there is an agreement on funding the government.

Tom Hudson

Like a lot of law enforcement agencies in South Florida, the Lauderhill Police Department run by Lauderhill Police Chief Andrew Smalling did not hire any new officers for several years as the city's budget was hit by falling property values. But now Lauderhill is hiring again. It's looking for five new officers, offering full benefits and a starting salary around $50,000.

From the U.S. Supreme Court case against the Affordable Care Act to trying to keep insurance exchange navigators from public health facilities, the state of Florida has resisted assisting the federal government in implementing the health insurance reform law.

Freedigitalphotos.net

The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment which began October 1 is focused on individuals but its impact likely will be felt even if you get your insurance through your employer, or though your spouse's work.

Most Americans with private health insurance (not Medicare, Medicaid or veterans benefits) get their insurance through their job or their husband's or wife's company. Even as more people may sign up for health insurance coverage, the prices for that coverage are expected to keep rising. 

The Sunshine Economy: Meet The Invincibles

Oct 1, 2013
Tom Hudson

The invincibles is a catch-all description of young adults, generally healthy, but who are living without health insurance.

This group is one of the particular targets of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, taking effect on January 1, 2014. By requiring most Americans to have health insurance, the strategy is to attract young and healthy people to help spread the risk of insuring older and sicker people.

Tom Hudson

These are the faces of the uninsured in South Florida. Eddie Escobar, Kwami Livingston and Jersey Garcia (left to right) are three of the more than one million people under the age of 65 in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward who are living without health insurance.

Beginning Tuesday, they will be able to shop for health coverage and possibly qualify for a tax credit in order to meet the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which goes into effect next year.

Freedigitalphotos.net

A top hospital CEO promises to say how much his hospital gets paid for procedures. The top hurricane insurance boss warns about his firm’s ability to pay.

Tom Hudson

Modern society has separated many of us from our food source. Sure, there are local field-to-table efforts and farmer’s markets, but it’s awful hard to know where all your food comes from.

Jeff Onsted / FIU

Two pieces of land in real estate development-hungry South Florida. They are less than two miles apart but more than 10-times the difference in assessed values (see photo above).

The reason: the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in Miami-Dade County.

Jay Pellis

Jay Pellis is among the thousands of South Floridians who are underemployed. After 18 months of being counted among the unemployed, that's improvement. This week, Pellis began a part-time job teaching GED classes to teenagers and young adults leaving the foster care system. It is the type of work he's done before.

Tom Hudson

Odds are Ian Kramer should be working. He has a MBA from USC. He has experience in the cut throat  world of Miami real estate development. The unemployment rate for someone with his education is half that of the overall level. And real estate is rebounding with several residential high rises sprouting from once dormant stretches of land.

freedigitalphotos.net

Half of the paychecks of Floridians are smaller today than they were in 2004. Thanks to a wicked combination of fewer working hours and the financial erosion of inflation, the median hourly wage in Florida is $0.63 less than what it was eight years ago, according to a recent study by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.

Tom Hudson

Ian, Jay and Sal. That's them in the photo on the right. Each of them is an unemployment statistic with a story.

Tom Hudson

Jimmy Choo at Sawgrass Mills. Hermes in the Design District. Even Marky's Caviar in Miami Gardens. South Floridians are welcoming luxury retailers with open arms just like Britto's "Welcome" sculpture greets shoppers near Dadeland Station in the photo on the right.

Luxury retailing in South Florida is expanding beyond its traditional glitzy locations and stretching to include not just shoes and accessories, but also shoppers’ appetites.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

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