The Labor Department reports that payrolls increased 164,000 during July, just 1,000 below the 165,000 Dow Jones forecast.
Wages increased 3.2% year over year, topping expectations by one-tenth of a percentage point. Average weekly hours edged lower to 34.3.
The total labor force came in at a record-high 163.4 million.
Along with that, a broader measure of unemployment that accounts for discouraged workers and the underemployed, sometimes called the "real" unemployment rate, dropped to 7%, its lowest since December 2000.
While the numbers reflected a jobs market that continues to edge to full employment, the data also showed that companies are continuing to hire despite persistent fears of a broader economic slowdown.