US jobless rate drops in December
The US unemployment rate dropped to 9.4% in December from 9.8% in November, according to official figures.
Some 103,000 jobs were created last month, the Labor Department said, although this was fewer than the 145,000-175,000 that had been forecast.
Small businesses are starting to hire again, offsetting job losses from cutbacks in the public sector.
The BBC's Juliana Liu reports from New York.