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Oct. 5, 2018, 2:02 p.m. EDT

Unemployment rate falling near or at record lows for almost all groups of Americans

Brisk hiring, record job openings tug unemployment to 48-year low

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By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch


Getty Images
The U.S. economy is like one big “Help Wanted” sign.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to 3.7% and dropped to the lowest since 1969, showing that it’s a great time for almost anyone to get a job.

The economy is a lot different today than it was 48 years ago, of course, but it doesn’t take away from what’s on today. Job openings are at a record high and it’s getting harder for companies to fill them.

They’ve become more willing to hire people they would have overlooked or ignored in the past.

Read: Amazon’s $15 vow puts focus on $7.25 U.S. minimum wage. Here’s who earns it

A look at the unemployment rates of various groups of Americans underscores the progress. Check them out:

Men 20 and over : 3.4%. Lowest level since 2000.

Women 20 and over : 3.3%. Matches a post-1960 low set in 2000.

Asian-Americans : 3.5%. The record low is 2.1% in May 2018.

Blacks : 6%. Second lowest rate in available data going back to 1972. The record is 5.9% in May.

Hispanic-Americans : 4.5%. Matches an all-time low.

Whites : 3.3%. Lowest since 1969.

Also Read: Another key barometer of U.S. economy hits postrecession high

Less than high school degree, 25 years and older : 5.5%. Record low is 5.1% in July.

High school de gree: 3.7%. Lowest since 2000.

Bachelor’s degree or higher : 2%. Lowest since 2006-2007.

Foreign born: 3%. Matches lowest level since government began keeping track in 2007.

Native born: 3.7%. Matches lowest level since government began keeping track in 2007.

Veterans: 3.4%. Record low is 2.3% in 2000.

While falling unemployment is great news, however, it’s a double-edged sword. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to snuff out any danger of inflation, a strategy that if mishandled could depress a surging economy and a raging bull market in stocks /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.14%   /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.07%

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Jeffry Bartash is a reporter for MarketWatch in Washington.

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