The unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.5 percent, the lowest level since February 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, as employers added 200,000 jobs.

The job gains mostly occurred in the transportation and warehousing, retail, manufacturing, health care and mining industries. Both the number of unemployed persons (13.1 million) and the unemployment rate (8.5 percent) continued to trend down in December. The unemployment rate has declined by 0.6 percentage point since August.

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