- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Unemployment rate falls to 8.5 percent; hiring surges
Question of the Day
A measure that includes those groups, the so-called underemployment rate, was 15.2 percent in December. It has fallen three straight months but remains historically high.
In another positive sign, the number of people who are employed part-time but would prefer full-time fell sharply for the third straight month. It has dropped from 9.3 million in September to 8.1 million in December, the lowest since January 2009.
A more robust hiring market coincides with data suggesting the economy ended the year with some momentum. Holiday sales were solid, and November and December were the strongest months of 2011 for U.S. auto sales.
• AP economics writer Paul Wiseman contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Bill Clinton audio surfaces from Sept. 10, 2001: 'I could have killed' Osama bin Laden
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world