US unemployment rate drops to 8.5 percent

Washington, Jan 6 (IANS) The US unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent in December, the Labour Department said Friday.

The unemployment rate was the lowest since February 2009 when it stood at 8.2 percent, adding to a string of positive economic data recently, reports Xinhua.

Non-farm employers added 200,000 jobs in December, the best showing since March 2011, the department figures revealed.

The unemployment has dropped by 0.6 percentage point since August 2011 and the total number of unemployed Americans decreased to 13.1 million in December.