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. Dr. Rick Harper serves as associate vice president of research and economic opportunity at the University of West Florida and oversees the University’s Center for Research and Economic Opportunity. 

 

The Economic Report airs on 88.1 FM Fridays at 6:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the next meeting of Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.  It will be held on Wednesday, October 28, 9 a.m. – noon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Bayside Ballroom at 160 Sandestin Blvd. N., Miramar Beach, Florida, 32550.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses this year’s annual Gulf Power Economic Symposium held October 11-13 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Destin, FL.

“Think Big; think Northwest Florida,” said Harper referring to the theme of this year’s event, which had over 600 people in attendance.

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the Florida Chamber of Commerce 2015 Future of Florida Forum and Annual Meeting held this week in Orlando.

The annual gathering took place September 28-29 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses University of West Florida President Judith Bense’s 2015 state of the university address, as well as ongoing improvement in the U.S. housing market. 

Bense addressed a crowd of several hundred at the UWF Field House Thursday morning. The president, who will retire at the end of 2016, painted a mixed economic picture for the university. 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest Florida jobs report and the Federal Reserve’s decision to postpone increasing interest rates.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity this week released the jobs report for August, showing overall growth of 3.1 percent, or 243,000 new jobs, for the state.

 

 In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses unemployment, job creation and the promise and limitations of the information technology sector to Northwest Florida’s economy. 

The Labor Department reported Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits had dropped by 6,000, to a seasonally adjusted 275,000. That is a positive sign for the nation’s economy, Harper said. 

“Initial jobless claims look good,” he said. “We are at a four-week moving average that’s well below 300,000 now.” 

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the availability of $5 million in economic development incentives to companies relocating or expanding in Northwest Florida.

“This is part of the $30 million allocation that was appropriated by the legislature several years ago, for the purpose of implementing an economic development program for Northwest Florida,” said Harper that the dollars were initially intended to be used specifically to “close the deal,” with businesses interested in creating jobs in the region.

University of West Florida

  

  

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest report from the Commerce Department showing that the U.S. economy posted a much bigger rebound in growth during the spring than previously reported.

“It was actually good news,” said Harper, referring to the federal government’s revised estimate on the GDP growth for the second quarter of 2015.  

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., which will be holding its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort at 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West in Destin.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses new reports on personal income growth and job growth.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income increased $68.1 billion in June.

“It was actually stronger than expected,” Harper said. “It was up four-tenths of a percent in June, and the forecast had called for it to be less than that. So, (it’s) good news overall.”

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest GDP figures, initial jobless claims for June, and pending home sales.

The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, led by a surge in consumer spending and a recovery in foreign trade.

DD: Lots to talk about this week starting off with the National Association for Business Economics, a big meeting there.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest retail sales report, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony this before Congress, and plans for a new University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses economic developments in Europe, with analysis of the economic crisis in Greece.

“We’re on the verge of seeing a Greek exit from the European Monetary System,” Harper said as the Greek government was holding an emergency meeting to discuss making another bid for financial help from the European Union.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the importance of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to local beach tourism and his latest viewpoint on wage growth.

First, visitors and locals alike will be celebrating Independence Day across the gulf coast this weekend.

According to Harper, the forward looking indicators are very strong.

“We’re seeing low gas prices, lowest they’ve been really in about five years,” he said. “We’re also seeing job growth.”

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