The US labour department says the job market is improving: more than 20,000 people, previously out of work, have been employed last month.

The department reported that job-creation figures in December and January were even stronger than first estimated.

Welcoming the news, President Barack Obama, who is up for re-election this November, said on Friday that the figures showed the economy "getting stronger".

On the surface, the new figures suggest the US economy is starting to bounce back. However, a wider measure of unemployment shows 16.7 per cent of working-age Americans - 23.5 million people - are either unemployed, only working part-time jobs or have given up looking for work.

With jobs so hard to come by, many Americans are having to work for themselves. And, as Al Jazeera's John Terrett reports from Springfield, Virginia, self-employment comes with its own risks.

Source: Al Jazeera