WASHINGTON — Black Americans and high school graduates fared better in the U.S. job market in September, while those without high school diplomas and recent veterans lost ground.

The unemployment rate for black Americans fell to 9.2 percent, close to a seven-year-low hit in July.

Despite the improvement, an employment gap by race remains stubbornly wide: The jobless rate for African Americans is more than twice the rate for whites.

The rate for high school graduates declined to 5.2 percent from 5.5 percent in August. But the unemployment rate for those without high school diplomas rose to 7.9 percent from 7.7 percent.

For recent veterans, unemployment climbed to 5 percent from 4.7 percent in August.

Overall, U.S. employers added a weak 142,000 jobs last month. The national unemployment held steady at 5.1 percent.

The data for various demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report.