Common indicators of a city’s economy are the employment rate, income and poverty levels.
High Point’s unemployment rate peaked at 11.4% in 2009 following the Great Recession, but then steadily decreased back down to its lowest levels in 20 years before the impact of COVID-19 caused a spike to 9.0% in 2020, although it dropped back down to 4.3% in 2022. This compares to a state-wide unemployment rate that peaked at 11% in 2009 and jumped to 7.1% in 2020 and then down to 3.7% in 2022.
The median household income, which is the income level that creates an equal distribution above and below it, was $49,649 for High Point according to the 2016-2020 5-year American Community Survey (ACS). This was less than the median income level for the state, which was $56,642, but higher than both Greensboro ($49,492) and Winston-Salem ($47,269).
The percentage of households by income category for the three Triad cities is shown in the following chart.
These figures indicate that among the major Triad cities High Point had the lowest percentage of households with an income below $25,000 and the highest percentage with an income of $150,000 or more. This is a notable difference from ten years ago when High Point (at 29.6%) was higher than Greensboro (at 28.8%) and just below Winston-Salem (at 29.9%) in the percentage of households with income under $25,000 and had the lowest percentage of households in the $150,000 or more bracket (at 5.5% vs. 6.6% for Greensboro and 6.2% for Winston-Salem).
Over the last ten years there has been a decrease in the percentage of High Point residents living below the poverty level, from 19.2% in 2010 to 15.1% in 2020. However, this is still higher than in 2000, when the percentage was 13.2%, and in 1990 when it was 12.7%. Also, as the following chart shows, the burden of poverty falls disproportionately on children, with 22% of those under the age of 18 in High Point living in poverty according to the 2016-2020 5-year ACS.