Yelp Releases Local Economic Outlook for Q3 2018

Las Vegas Tops The Nation For Business Growth

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced the quarterly release of the Yelp Local Economic Outlook (LEO), a program to rank U.S. metro areas by the pace of business growth to reveal the health of local economies around the country.

Las Vegas is the nation’s top urban area for business growth, according to the latest installment of Yelp’s LEO, ranking 50 metro areas over the second quarter of 2018. The next two cities for business growth—Austin, Texas; and Miami, Florida—also ranked in the top three in the previous quarter’s ranking, with Las Vegas replacing Atlanta. Cities where openings greatly outnumber closures are ones where entrepreneurs have spotted opportunity and existing businesses have found success.

Las Vegas’s surge to the top of the list was fueled by home-services growth, signaling activity throughout the home-buying and home-owning life cycles as the region’s construction sector booms. Movers, mortgage brokers and specialists in flooring, masonry and concrete, and solar installation all opened their doors at rates far outstripping business closures throughout the Vegas area. In the first quarter, as many home-services businesses in the region closed as opened; second-quarter growth in the sector really drove Vegas’s recovery.

No. 2 Austin’s story also is one of home-services strength, with some different power centers: pressure washers, fences and gates, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). True to its foodie reputation, Austin also has boomed in coffee and tacos.

Miami’s growth, third highest nationally, was fueled by the health sector, with doctors in many different specialties opening practices. Salons, offering a different kind of care, also boomed in the area, including Biscayne Nail and Beauty Bar. (Natalia P.: “I love this new place.”)

Atlanta, meanwhile, fell out of the top three in large part because of a decline in growth in home services. The sector remains strong but couldn’t keep pace with first-quarter growth, due in part to the closures of businesses such as the highly rated AHH Smart Move Services.

Detecting economic trends by measuring business growth is a technique equally relevant for types of businesses as for metro areas. In an accompanying report, we chart the meteoric growth in businesses selling the Hawaiian raw-fish dish poke around the U.S.

The Local Economic Outlook is part of a larger, ongoing project to surface insights from Yelp’s deep data stores to help businesses succeed and arm policymakers with the information they need to boost local economies.

Ranking 50 Cities in America for Economic Opportunity

Current Rank City

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


We rank metros by the rate of change in number of businesses between the start and end of the quarter. We count business openings and closures by when those events are registered on Yelp by users and business owners; our checks indicate that any reporting lags are largely consistent across metros and wouldn’t substantially alter the rankings.

Time Frame

The rankings are based on data from the second quarter of 2018 (April through June). The changes in rankings are based on comparing data from the second quarter of 2018 with data from the first quarter of 2018 (January through March).


We include businesses in the top 10 primary categories on Yelp, according to page views. Data for a business in multiple primary categories is divided among them.

Choosing the 50 Cities in the Economic Outlook

We started with the three biggest cities as measured by number of listings on Yelp in each of the Census Bureau’s nine U.S. regions in 2017. We then added 23 of the other largest cities in the country. Each city includes businesses within the city’s larger metro area. For 40 of the cities, we use the metro area defined by the Census Bureau’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. For the other 10, we use Census’s Metropolitan Divisions. We continue to track these 50 cities — the Yelp 50 — each quarter.

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.


Yelp Inc.
Liina Potter


Yelp Inc.
Liina Potter