US job growth was less than expected in August and the unemployment rate dropped to a 4½ year low as workers gave up search for work, which could delay the Federal Reserve scaling back its massive monetary stimulus (quantitative easing) later this month.
Non-farm payrolls increased 169,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, adding to signs that the third-quarter economic growth may have slowed down a bit. The unemployment rate fell from 7.4% to 7.3%, the lowest since December 2008. Not only was hiring less than expected last month, the job count for June and July was revised to show 74,000 fewer positions added than previously reported. The participation rate — the share of working-age Americans who either have a job or are looking for one — also dropped to its lowest level since August 1978. The closely watched jobs report will provide an evidence to the Fed as it debates its $85 billion a month bond-buying programme, and it will set the tone for global markets.