Florida enjoyed its eleventh consecutive month with an unemployment rate below four percent. The state added 20,500 jobs in August and is up 220,200 jobs over the year.
Some of North Carolina is returning to normal on Wednesday, even as much of the state remained inundated and imperiled by floods caused by former Hurricane Florence. The state's governor said the death toll in North Carolina is now at 27. Duke Energy has reported power has been restored to 1.5 million people; 150,000 customers are still waiting.
Many communities and neighborhoods remain flooded, and curfews invoked by a number of local officials were still in effect Wednesday. Robeson County estimated the Lumber River, which crested Monday night at 25 feet, will crest again sometime over the weekend at 24 feet because of water coming in from other counties. There are more than 1,000 people in shelters in that county.
The county reports 31 buildings have been destroyed and another 510 have received some type of storm damage. 13 rivers remain at major flood stage, and about 7,800 people are still in shelters. 900 roads remain closed. The Department of Transportation says it doesn’t know when Interstates 95 and 40 or other major highways to and from the coast will reopen, with rivers at or near record levels.
The largest recorded wild fires in California history has been reported by the US Forest Service as 100 percent contained. Two fires burned a combined 459,123 acres (that is about the size of Worcestershire, England), destroyed 280 structures including 157 residences, killed a firefighter and injured four others. At 100 percent containment, there are still 22 miles of fire line to repair and some fire activity left to monitor.
Amazon has opened its new 2.4-million-square-foot warehouse in Orlando. Amazon hasn’t said whether it would increase speeds for delivery in Central Florida and the company already offers one and two-hour delivery for its Prime subscription customers in the Orlando metropolitan area.The new facility at 12340 Boggy Creek Road is one of Amazon’s next-generation fulfillment centers, where 1,500 employees will work, but much of the actual heavy lifting is done by robots and machinery.
Amazon didn’t seek any local tax incentives for the project, which covers about 130 acres.
Amazon has been hiring warehouse associates for the new facility for about a month, a number that could increase by 1,000 during the busier holiday months. Amazon has been hiring for a limited number of positions through its hiring website, mostly for warehouse associates with a pay listed at “$10 an hour and more.” If wages are in line with other Amazon facilities, median wages for associates at the new facility would be about $4,500 less than the Orlando area average of $30,520 a year, according to the Florida Policy Institute. According to salary data tracker Glassdoor, average wages for associates at other Amazon warehouses in the country are about $12.50 an hour,
A facial recognition tool that Amazon.com sells to web developers wrongly identified 28 members of the US Congress as police suspects, in a test conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Since May, the ACLU and other civil rights groups have pressured Amazon to stop selling governments access to Rekognition, image ID software unveiled in 2016 by the company’s cloud-computing division.
According to two cyber security firms in a study published this month, at least a dozen companies and government agencies have been targeted and thousands more are exposed to data breaches by hackers exploiting old security flaws in management software.
The Department of Homeland Security issued an alert citing the study by security firms Digital Shadows and Onapsis that highlights the risks posed to thousands of unpatched business systems from software makers Oracle and SAP.
These can enable hackers to steal corporate secrets, the researchers said.
In an alert entitled “Malicious cyber activity targeting ERP applications”, the Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center highlighted signs of increasing hacker focus on ERP applications, citing the study.
Synovus Financial is to buy a Florida-based bank for $2.9 billion to boost its deposits and become one of the leading lenders in the U.S. Southeast region. Synovus offered $58.15 per share for Florida Community Bank owner FCB Financial Holdings.
Another U.S. community bank, Veritex Holdings plans buy Green Bancorp Inc for a deal valued at about $1 billion to gain market share.
Eyeing the end of his military pilot career, fighter jock Rob Ceravolo ounded a seaplane airline. His Tropic Ocean Airways flies from Florida to the Bahamas and, seasonally, from New York City’s East River out to Long Island destinations. Tropic carried 20,000 passengers in 2017, employs 30 pilots and 70 others and reaches more than 40 locations. Scheduled service fares, for example, run $400 round trip to Bimini in the Bahamas.
The junior college national golf championship tournament will be coming to Viera, Florida in May 2019 giving a boost to both the sports sector and the tourism.
Honeywell International, a major employer in Florida, says it will increase the use of supply chain sources from non-China countries to counter growing costs related to a tariff war between the world’s two largest economies.
The company also reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its 2018 profit forecast for the third time as it benefits from increased demand for aircraft parts and services.
The maker of engines for business jets produced by Bombardier and Textron says it is expecting limited impact from known tariffs due to its mitigating actions.
An e-commerce boom in the US is also contributing to Honeywell’s profits, helping it sell more supply chain and warehouse automation equipment and software to customers including amazon.com.
Sales in the aerospace division, which makes auxiliary power units, braking systems and other parts for Boeing and Airbus single-aisle planes, rose about ten percent to $4.06 billion.