But despite the slight drop in jobless numbers, more than 15 million Americans remained unemployed.

'Good news'

Barack Obama, the US president, said the report was good news and indicated that better days are ahead for the US economy.

But he warned that there is still more work to do.

"We still have a long way to go. I still consider one job lost one job too many," he said during a speech in the eastern US state of Pennsylvania.

"The journey from here will not be without setbacks or struggle. There will be more bumps in the road. But the direction is clear."

Obama said his administration is also working on a proposal to "jump-start" support for a new jobs measure he is expected to unveil next week.

"...The decline has slowed, it has not stopped"

Ron Blackwell, chief economist for the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Unions

"We need to grow jobs and get America back to work as quickly as we can.

"On Tuesday, I'm going to speak in greater detail about the ideas I'll be sending to Congress to help jump-start private sector hiring and get Americans back to work."

Ron Blackwell, the chief economist for the American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Unions, the largest federation of unions in the US and Canada, said the government's initial economic stimulus plan had brought the country "back from the brink" of the economic crisis.

"But the accurate way to put it is that the decline has slowed, it has not stopped," he told Al Jazeera.

"We're going to have to do much more than has been done so far by our government and by other governments, if we're going to do something to staunch the employment crisis in the United States and in the world."