Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.5 Percent

by Brian Bolduc

USA Today reports:

The U.S. job market strengthened in the second half of 2011 and added 200,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate fell to 8.5% from a revised 8.7% a month earlier.

December’s biggest growth came in transportation, especially courier services that staffed up for the holidays, and in health care and manufacturing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.