Yelp Releases Local Economic Outlook for Q2 2018 – Charleston, S.C. #20

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While Yelp is most commonly recognized for our leadership in restaurants, Home & Local services has become the fastest growing and largest category by revenue on our platform. In the first quarter of 2018, Yelpers sent more than 4 million quote requests, and Home & Local businesses increased the amount they spend to advertise on Yelp by approximately 30% compared to one year ago. There are now more than 1 million local businesses set up to receive consumer quote requests via Yelp.

In an effort to look more closely at the health of the Home & Local services industry, Yelp also analyzed the growth of the category on its platform.

In the past two years, searches for “smart home” on Yelp have quadrupled and continued to grow in 2018.

Of those searches for “smart homes” consumers are most often then seeking out Home Automation and Security Systems services. Home Automation in particular is one of the fastest growing categories on all of Yelp.

Year over year, the number of requests sent through Yelp to home automation businesses has more than doubled. In response to this demand, more businesses are opening up shop. There are almost 30% more home automation businesses on Yelp today than a year ago.

The rapid growth and industry response suggests that the rise of smart homes may not be a flash in the pan and has extended beyond early adopters.

While home automation has emerged as one of the fastest growing business categories on Yelp, we’ve also noticed that the larger success and growth of home and local service businesses in a city is strongly linked to the economic health of that city.

Austin, Texas., Leads The Country In Local-Business Growth

Yelp’s Local Economic Outlook ranks 50 U.S. cities by local-business investment and success to reveal the health of urban economies around the country. We measure local-business success by the rate of change of the business population in each city’s metro area in the fourth quarter of 2017. Cities where openings greatly outnumber closures are ones where business owners have spotted opportunity and found success.

In the first quarter of 2018, Austin, Texas, topped the list. Largely driven by the growing tech sector and VC investment, Austin’s unemployment rate in 2017 dropped to levels not seen since 2000. Spurred by the influx of people moving to the area in search of newly available employment options, construction and home and local services industries have seen tremendous growth in the Austin area.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia fell to the bottom of this quarter’s list, which could be a reflection of the city’s high poverty rate (25.7), rising homicide rates, and increasing opioid epidemic.

Yelp’s goal in publishing this Outlook is to help policymakers, researchers and business owners better understanding local economies in which they operate. Yelp’s full Local Economic Outlook report can be viewed on the Yelp blog.

Ranking 50 Cities in America for Economic Opportunity

Current Rank City

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Miami
  3. Atlanta
  4. Phoenix
  5. Charlotte, N.C.
  6. Jacksonville, Fla.
  7. Albuquerque, N.M.
  8. Tulsa, Okla.
  9. Rochester, N.Y.
  10. New Orleans
  11. Houston
  12. Nashville, Tenn.
  13. Orlando, Fla.
  14. Portland, Maine
  15. Denver
  16. Salt Lake City
  17. Honolulu
  18. Louisville, Ky.
  19. Dallas
  20. Charleston, S.C.
  21. Omaha, Neb.
  22. Cleveland
  23. Minneapolis
  24. Saint Louis, Mo.
  25. Cincinnati
  26. Washington
  27. Pittsburgh
  28. Buffalo, N.Y.
  29. Columbus
  30. Seattle
  31. Los Angeles
  32. Madison, Wis.
  33. Tampa, Fla.
  34. Baltimore
  35. Las Vegas
  36. New York
  37. Richmond, Va.
  38. Memphis, Tenn.
  39. Boston
  40. Chicago
  41. Hartford, Conn.
  42. Portland, Ore.
  43. Milwaukee
  44. Sacramento, Calif.
  45. San Francisco
  46. Providence, R.I.
  47. San Diego
  48. Tucson, Ariz.
  49. San Jose, Calif.
  50. Philadelphia


Yelp, the leader in connecting people with great local businesses, is putting its rich data stores to work identifying the parts of the country and types of business with the highest rate of growth in the number of businesses. Yelp’s data science team is continually working to identify the best measure of local economic health. For this quarter, we’re using the rate of change in the number of businesses in a city, neighborhood or business category as a way to equally weight business closures — a sign of economic challenges — and business openings, a sign of business investment and dynamism. We’ll continue to study and refine this measure in the quarters to come as we release further updates on local business health.

About Yelp Inc.

Yelp Inc. ( connects people with great local businesses. With unmatched local business information, photos and review content, Yelp provides a platform for consumers to discover, interact and transact with local businesses of all sizes. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004.

Yelp intends to make future announcements of material financial and other information through its Investor Relations website. Yelp will also, from time to time, disclose this information through press releases, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, conference calls or webcasts, as required by applicable law.

Charleston Ranks #5 in Yelp’s Inaugural Local Economic Outlook Survey of Cities Primed for Growth

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Yelp’s inaugural Local Economic Outlook is a new program to track which areas of America are ripe for economic opportunity: where small businesses in America have the best chance of success.

This program is an ongoing effort to surface insights from Yelp’s deep data stores to help businesses succeed and to arm policymakers with the information they need to make effective change that will boost local economies.

The Outlook centers around a list of 50 cities in the U.S. ranked by economic opportunity to show the current state of affairs in the local American economy. We define “economic opportunity” as the chance businesses have to stay open, and for new businesses to thrive.

In addition, we have produced a list of 50 neighborhoods and 10 business categories that have experienced the largest positive change in economic opportunity over the last year to provide a guide for where to look next.


Each business in the U.S. that has been reviewed on Yelp was analyzed using a random-
forest model to estimate its probability of remaining open for the next three months, for
each month over the last two years. The model takes into account the business’s location,
category, and other factors, mainly based on Yelp-related activity for that business: how
many reviews it received, how often people looked at its Yelp page, and so on.

Top 10 Cities

  1. Charlotte, North Carolina
  2. Jacksonville, Florida
  3. Omaha, Nebraska
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. Charleston, South Carolina
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada
  7. Tampa, Florida
  8. Dallas, Texas
  9. Salt Lake City, Utah
  10. Houston, Texas

Full Report

Yelp Local Economic Outlook Report – October 2017