By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
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.
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.
• 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 +0.11% /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.05%