SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced the quarterly release of the Yelp Local Economic Outlook, a program to rank U.S. metro areas by the pace of local-business population growth to reveal the health of urban economies around the country.
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
- Austin, Texas
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Albuquerque, N.M.
- Tulsa, Okla.
- Rochester, N.Y.
- New Orleans
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Orlando, Fla.
- Portland, Maine
- Salt Lake City
- Louisville, Ky.
- Charleston, S.C.
- Omaha, Neb.
- Saint Louis, Mo.
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Los Angeles
- Madison, Wis.
- Tampa, Fla.
- Las Vegas
- New York
- Richmond, Va.
- Memphis, Tenn.
- Hartford, Conn.
- Portland, Ore.
- Sacramento, Calif.
- San Francisco
- Providence, R.I.
- San Diego
- Tucson, Ariz.
- San Jose, Calif.
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. (www.yelp.com) 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.