Rick Harper

Economist

Rick Harper's career as an economist began in 1979 at the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, where he was involved in all phases of various funded research projects. Rick received his Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University in 1989 and joined the UWF faculty that same year. He received his bachelor's degree from Guilford College in North Carolina.

Prior to coming to UWF, Rick lectured at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Other academic experience includes visiting appointments at ESSCA, in Angers, France, the University of Nottingham, England and University College, Cork, Ireland. His published scholarly research is largely in the area of government policy and its effect on the business environment.

Through UWF's Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, where he served as director, Rick worked with Florida businesses and government leaders on a variety of business research and economic development issues. He represented Northwest Florida on Governor Jeb Bush's Council of Economic Advisors from 2001 - 2006. He now serves as director of UWF's Office of Economic Development and Engagement.

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Economic Report
3:23 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Harper: Oil Spill Recovery Act Good For Local Economy

Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper begins with the latest from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

On Wednesday, Yellen announced that the Fed will continue its current monetary policy, cutting its monthly bond purchases by another $10 billion per month and keeping its key federal funds rate near zero. Further, she told a news conference that inflation was expected to move gradually back to the central bank's 2 percent target.

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Economic Report
11:46 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Harper: Is Florida One Of The Worst Economies In The Nation?

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the factors behind Florida’s inclusion on a list “The Biggest Losers: The 5 Worst State Economies,” as reported by CNN Money.

Each of the states is listed in part due to the decrease in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2007 and 2013.

Nevada topped the list, with a 10% drop in GDP. Florida followed with a GDP of -7%.  Also in the top five are Connecticut, Arizona and Michigan.

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Economic Report
6:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Harper: More Signs Of A Strengthening Economy

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses more signs of a strengthening economy on a national level.

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Economic Report
4:29 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Harper: Slight Economic Decline Not All Bad

Credit UWF

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a report that shows the nation’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2014, the first downturn since early 2011.

The government initially said first quarter GDP grew at a 0.1% annual rate. That figure was revised downward to -0.1%.

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Economic Report
4:34 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Harper: Memorial Day Shows Strong Start For Summer Tourism

Credit UWF

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend which we traditionally think of as the kickoff to the summer tourist season so we checked in with Dr. Rick Harper about how the season is looking.

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Local Economy
6:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Harper: Temp Jobs Part Of Recovery

Credit UWF

In this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses more of the economic fall out from the April 30 storm and flooding. The destruction of such natural disasters typically generates spending that is funded primarily through insurance claims, individual savings, and FEMA assistance. Earlier this week, President Obama signed a Disaster Declaration for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, clearing the way for federal aid.

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Economic Report
6:20 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Harper: Flooding Expensive For Governments, Residents

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the recent flood event and the expected high cost of repairing the damage to roads, infrastructure and other government and private property, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars in each case.

The unexpectedly large volume of rainfall, up to 27 inches in some areas, brought floodwaters to some areas that had never flooded before. That means many homeowners will be forced to foot the bill for repairs themselves. 

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Economic Report
5:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Harper: State And Local Job Growth On The Upswing

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the work to be done to come up with a budget agreement during the final week of the 2014 Florida Legislative Session.

Unlike the federal government, the state must have a balanced budget. According to Harper, one indicator of a healthier state economy since the Recession is that Florida no longer has to dip into its reserves to pay the state’s debt service. “We’re now back down to the level where the state is actively contributing to reserves,” he says.

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Economics with Rick Harper
4:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Harper: Florida Made-For-Trade, Interest Rates, & Tax Day

Credit Uiniversity of West Florida

Time now for our weekly review of the region’s economy with Dr. Rick Harper – Director of the UWF Office of Economic Development and Engagement, and advisor to the Florida Senate.

Interview Highlights:

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Economic Report
12:26 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

First-Time Jobless Claims At Lowest Level Since 2007

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest report from the U.S. Labor Department regarding the number of Americans filing for first-time jobless claims. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 for last week. That was the largest decline since December 2012, and marked the lowest level since May 2007.

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