Payrolls rose less than projected in August, and the unemployment rate was unexpectedly driven down by Americans leaving the labor force, boosting the odds of additional Federal Reserve easing to spur a faltering recovery.

The economy added 96,000 workers after a revised 141,000 increase in July that was smaller than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed last week in Washington. The median estimate of 92 surveyed economists called for a gain of 130,000. The jobless rate fell to 8.1 percent.

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