(Repeating to additional subscribers)
* Nonfarm payrolls fall 95,000 in September
* Private employment rises 64,000
* Unemployment rate unchanged at 9.6 pct
* Average work steady at 34.2 hours
(Updates with data)
WASHINGTON, Oct 8 The U.S. economy unexpectedly
shed jobs in September for a fourth straight month as
government payrolls fell and private hiring was less than
expected, hardening expectations of further Federal Reserve
action to spur the recovery.
Nonfarm payrolls dropped 95,000, the Labor Department
said on Friday. Private employment, a better gauge of labor
market health, increased 64,000 after rising 93,000 in August.
A total of 77,000 temporary jobs for the decennial census were
terminated last month.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected overall payrolls
would be unchanged, with private-sector hiring gaining 75,000.
The government revised data for July and August to show
15,000 more jobs lost that previously reported. It also said
its preliminary benchmark revision estimate indicated
employment in the 12 months to March had been overstated by
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent in
In the wake of dovish speeches by senior Fed officials,
including Chairman Ben Bernanke, analysts believe it now almost
certain the U.S. central bank will launch a second round of
asset purchases -- with many expecting a move in November.
"They may delay it till December, but the odds favor we get
something," said Michael Strauss chief economist at Commonfund
in Wilton, Connecticut.
Expectations the Fed, which has already pumped $1.7
trillion into the economy by buying mortgage-related and
government bonds, would announce a second phase of quantitative
easing at its Nov. 2-3 meeting have buoyed U.S. stocks and
prices for shorter-dated government debt and have undercut the
The employment report is last before the Nov. 2 mid-term
elections in which President Barack Obama's Democratic Party is
expected to suffer large losses amid voter dissatisfaction with
Opinion polls suggest Republicans will take control of the
U.S. House of Representatives, which may give them a platform
to pursue their agenda of restricting government spending to
reduce a record budget deficit.
The recovery from the longest and deepest downturn since
the 1930s has been slow to generate jobs.
Private hiring last month was held back by the
goods-producing industries, where payrolls contracted 22,000 as
manufacturing employment fell 6,000 after declining 28,000 in
August. Construction payrolls fell 21,000, reflecting the
lasting troubles in the housing market, after August's boost
from the return of striking workers.
Private services sector employment rose 86,000 after
increasing 83,000 in August. Temporary help services -- seen as
a harbinger of permanent hiring - increased 16,900 last month
after rising 17,700 in August.
"Job growth in the goods producing industries has been
bottoming out. What we need to see, to get a really positive
feed back loop in the economy, is the services sector start to
edge up," said Troy Davig, senior U.S. economist at Barclays
Capital in New York.
The end of temporary census jobs and the loss of 76,000
local government jobs pushed total government payrolls down
159,000 last month.
The length of the average workweek was unchanged at 34.2
hours for a third straight month.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Neil Stempleman)