Economy

Common indicators of a city’s economy are the employment rate, income and poverty levels.

Economy - Unemployment

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 6.2% in 2021. 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 4.8% in 2021.

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.

Economy - Household Income

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.

Economy - Poverty
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