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(Reuters) – The U.S. economy shed jobs in September for a fourth straight month as government payrolls fell and private hiring slowed, hardening expectations for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve 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.

"This number makes QE2 more likely. The number just confirms that we have a slow growth economy and there’s a lot of work to be done. But the silver lining is that the private sector was on the positive side, though it wasn’t strong enough," said Jay Suskind, senior vice president at Duncan-Williams in Jersey City, New Jersey.

U.S. stock index futures initially added to losses after the report, while Treasury debt prices pared losses. The U.S. U.S. dollar fell versus the yen.

The government revised data for July and August to show 15,000 more jobs lost than previously reported.

It also said its preliminary benchmark revision estimate indicated employment in the 12 months to March had been overstated by 366,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent in August.

The Fed, which cut overnight interest rates to near zero in December 2008, has already pumped $1.7 trillion into the economy by buying mortgage-related and government bonds. The U.S. central bank meets on November 2-3.

"How it (quantitative easing) looks will be based on how the data looks. Most are pricing in some $500 billion of easing, and I don’t think this really changes that," said Mark McCormick, a currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.