Need data? Check out (YE). This online research tool tracks the performance of more than 44 million U.S. businesses (including 24 million active ones) across time, providing detailed information about job creation and establishment growth at the local, state and national levels. It’s data that’s easy to access — and easy to understand.

YourEconomy sets itself apart by using innovative new metrics to sift through data. It’s like holding a magnifying glass over business communities to zero in on economic activity and reveal trends at a granular level. Grab your browser and find out what’s going on in your backyard.


Get Smarter …

  • Get Smarter (YE) traces its roots back to 2006 when the foundation recognized a need for more in-depth, accessible data about economic activity – especially at the local level – to help economic developers, researchers and policymakers recognize trends and make better decisions.

    The website draws its raw data from Dun & Bradstreet databases and the National Establishment Time-Series (NETS), a longitudinal data source from Walls & Associates. This longitudinal data enables YE to track business-level performance not just at a static moment in time, but over a period of years.

    Today YE is owned and managed by the Business Dynamics Research Consortium, a project of the University of Wisconsin Extension Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. The site features 13 indicators that make it easier to slice and dice data. The default indicator (ALL) shows the impact of all establishments for a specified geographic region and time period. Five indicators dive deeper and look at the performance of different types of companies: Resident, Nonresident, Noncommercial, External Market and Local Market establishments. Seven other indicators zoom in on various kinds of establishment activity: New Startups, Expansion Startups, Closings, Expansions, Contractions, Move In and Move Out.

    Each indicator is subdivided into five employment stages that reflect different operational and management issues companies face as they grow larger: Self-employed (1 employee); Stage 1 (2 to 9 employees); Stage 2 (10 to 99 employees); Stage 3 (100 to 499 employees); and Stage 4 (500 or more employees).

    Other highlights include:

    • Bar graphs that break down establishment, job and sales information according to the five employment stages.
    • A details page that shows the actual numbers behind all percentages for whatever indicator, region and time period you’re looking at.
    • A rankings page that compares your selected geographic region and time period to other states, MSAs or counties.
    • A time-series chart showing year-to-year peaks and valleys since 1995 for the selected indicator.

    Bottom line, these metrics provide a new lens to view the business composition of your community and growth trends of your companies – and how that growth is reflected in new jobs and sales.

    Although YE’s dataset is large and detailed, you don’t need a doctoral degree in spreadsheet design to use it. You don’t need to spend hours reading tutorials, and you don’t need an economist standing over your shoulder to interpret the numbers. Finding unique, relevant data is a simple matter of jumping on the website and clicking your mouse. No hassles, no headaches.

    Learn more …

  • Why It’s Important

    Data can have incredible impact, especially for economic-development professionals. It can uncover trends you weren’t aware of, explain what’s happening in your region and measure the success of growth strategies.

    YE enables you to see business activity at the national and state level, but most important, to view data about your own turf and get fast answers to questions like:

    • How does my local economy compare to the entire state or communities in other regions with similar demographics?
    • What kind of companies are growing the fastest?
    • What how many jobs are generated by resident establishment? (This is important because, as YE shows, jobs generated by resident companies are less vulnerable during economic downturns.)

    Instead of relying on anecdotal evidence, YE provides the hard facts you need to:

    • Target programs and initiatives more effectively.
    • Track the success of programs and communicate their impact to stakeholders and policymakers.
    • Connect workforce-development programs with economic-growth initiatives.
    • Improve regional planning.

    In a nutshell, YE lets you take a data-driven approach to economic-development efforts. Otherwise, you’re operating on opinion.

  • Implement Programs is owned and managed by the Business Dynamics Research Consortium, a project of the University of Wisconsin Extension Division for Business and Entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit

What People are Saying

I train more than 400 economic development professionals each year in entrepreneurship support strategies from all parts of the country.  I use YE to customize these presentations to specific states, counties and regions, showcasing the rise or drop in numbers of businesses by Stage, the growth or decline of specific industries — and to compare and contrast different regions. is a valuable tool to giving those of us in the field high quality, navigable data.
Maureen Collins-Williams, director of University of North Iowa's Entrepreneurship Outreach and Regional Business Center

Your Economy Team

  • Joy Kitamori

    Joy Kitamori

    Contact Joy for an introduction to the team at the University of Wisconsin Extension Division for Business and Entrepreneurship.

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