U.S. Job Growth Misses Expectations, May Delay Fed Tapering

IBM Job Fair

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- U.S. job growth was less than expected in August and the unemployment rate dropped to a 4½ year low as workers gave up the search for work, which could delay the Federal Reserve scaling back its massive monetary stimulus later this month.

Nonfarm payrolls increased 169,000 last month, the Labor Department said Friday, adding to signs that third-quarter economic growth may have slowed down a bit. The unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent, the lowest since December 2008.