US unemployment lowest for seven years after economy adds 223,000 jobs in June
Now hiring sign (AFP Photo/Spencer Platt)

The US economy added 223,000 net new jobs in June, the Labor Department said Thursday in a mixed report on the jobs market.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since April 2008, but job creation numbers for the previous two months were revised significantly lower, and there was no upward movement on wages.

Data from the volatile household labor survey showed the labor force shrank by 432,000 people in the month, largely explaining the 0.2 percentage point fall in the jobless rate.

At the same time, job creation numbers for April and May from the more consistent establishment survey were reduced by a total of 60,000 positions, indicating that the pace of new hiring in US business and government is more moderate than had been thought.

Average hourly earnings were flat from May at $24.95, and up a modest 2.0 percent year on year, lower than what most analysts had been expecting after the steady hiring gains of the past year.