The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.2%.
It was the sixth straight month that the economy added more than 200,000 jobs, suggesting that the labor market is recovering steadily, though the report was slightly below economists' predictions of 230,000 new jobs in July.
President Obama said Friday at the White House that the jobs report, along with positive economic growth reported earlier in the week, show the "economy is clearly getting stronger." He said the economy has recovered faster and further than many expected.
The unemployment rate ticked up from 6.1% last month, but there was also evidence to suggest that was because more people were getting off the sidelines of the labor force and looking for jobs: The labor force participation rate also edged slightly up in July to 62.9%, though the number has regularly bumped up and down in recent months.
Employment rose in manufacturing, constructing, retail trade, and professional and business services.
The jobs numbers for the last two months were also revised upward. June's job growth was revised from 288,000 to 298,000. May's numbers were revised from 224,000 to 229,000.
There were other signs of economic healing this week: GDP grew 4% between April and July as the economy bounced back after an unusually harsh winter.