Rick Harper

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s first press conference on Capitol Hill. “It’s steady as she goes for Janet Yellen,” says Harper. He says it wasn’t notable for any change in policy, but for the same rookie error made by her predecessors Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. “She made the mistake of being too direct in a response to a reporter’s question, and that sent the financial markets into a bit of a tizzy.”  

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses issues ranging from President Barack Obama’s proposal to toughen regulations for overtime pay to the net worth of the U.S. rebounding back to pre-recession levels.

Currently, most hourly workers must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours a week. Most salaried workers do not need to be paid overtime, unless they earn less than $455 a week.  But that works out to $23,660 a year, which is less than the federal poverty level for a family of four.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Florida Governor Rick Scott’s proposed 2014-2015 budget, as this year’s Legislative Session gets underway. Gov. Scott is proposing a spending plan of $74.2 billion.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the proposed cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense announced by Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel. The plan asks for $522 billion. Harper says, “If you look over time the draw down is substantial and a lot of it falls on the Army. We’re looking at moving from an Army of 520,000 troops down to one of about 450,000 troops.” That would take American military forces to the lowest level since before World War II.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the economics of the inaugural Pensacon convention. Organizers projected between 5,000 and 10,000 people would attend the event, which quickly filled the Crown Plaza Hotel and Pensacola Bay Center.  “It is big, and it’s rare that in February you have a downtown hotel reporting that it’s fully booked,” Harper says.

To further make the point on the significance of the event during the “winter visitation trough,” he says that there are just a few big weekends during the height of the tourist season that beach hotels fill up.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a rise in initial jobless claims.  The U.S. Labor Department says the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose 8,000 last week to 339,000.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the proposal by the U.S. Air Force to reduce its active-duty force by 22,500 or 7 percent in 2014. The more aggressive one-year reduction plan compares to previously announced plans to reduce the force by about 25,000 over five years.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the proposal by the U.S. Air Force to reduce its active-duty force by 22,500 or 7 percent in 2014. The more aggressive one-year reduction plan compares to previously announced plans to reduce the force by about 25,000 over five years.

University of West Florida

On this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses two economic development projects being pursued by the City of Pensacola. One plan calls for the expansion of ST Aerospace to Pensacola International Airport. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward and the city have a memorandum of understanding with the aviation maintenance company, which currently operates in Mobile.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the recent action by Congress to allow the expiration of benefits for over one million long-term unemployed Americans.

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