U.S. business openings hit record high in 2022

Business openings in the U.S. will hit record highs in 2022, despite the brunt of macroeconomic challenges, according to a new Yelp report.

More than 637,000 new businesses will open nationwide in 2022, up 12% from pre-pandemic 2019, according to crowdsourced review publishers. Yelp has been tracking how COVID-19 is reshaping local economies and transforming communities across the country.

Its latest report shows that new business growth in 86% of states is even exceeding pre-pandemic levels, especially in the South, where growth was strongest last year.

This highlights how local businesses can “overcome labor shortages, high inflation, supply chain challenges” and more, according to the latest data from Yelp.

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People walk past a “now open” sign in the window of a coffee shop in Chelsea on Jan. 12. 19, 2022 in New York City. (Alexie Rosenfeld/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The growth was largely driven by new home and local service businesses, which were up 40% and 30%, respectively, compared with pre-pandemic levels, the data showed.

Compared with 2019, the hotel and tourism business grew by 28%, auto services by 25% and beauty services by 17%, the data showed.

“Seven of the eight top metros saw significant percentage changes in the hotel and travel categories compared to pre-pandemic levels, illustrating how travel demand is helping local economies rebound,” the report said.

Meanwhile, opening rates for new restaurants, shopping and nightlife businesses are below pre-pandemic levels.

New hotel and travel, nightlife and beauty businesses are driving growth in major metropolitan areas compared to 2021, according to Yelp.

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Top five states with the most job openings compared to 2021

A happy business owner holds an open sign on the door of a cafe and smiles – food and drink concept

California, Texas, Florida, New York and Georgia will have the most job openings in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Major metropolitan areas in the aforementioned states, such as Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City, drive the “city with the highest number of new openings in 2022.”

Compared to 2021, Los Angeles and New York saw an increase in openings in every category Yelp analyzed.

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Fastest-growing states compared to pre-pandemic

Miss Jackson cityscape at dusk.

Compared to 2019, Mississippi had the highest growth in new business at 62%.

Alabama followed with a 54 percent increase. South Carolina, Louisiana, and Georgia also saw significant increases in new business compared to 2019.

States that did not exceed 2019 levels, including New Hampshire, Oregon, California, Colorado and New York, were “only slightly below 2019 levels,” the report said.

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