By Vicki Needham - 07/05/13 12:32 PM EDT
Employers added 195,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6 percent.
More positive news emerged from the report with jobs figures being revised up 70,000 in April and May. Payrolls rose to 199,000 from 149,000 in April and were up to 195,000 from 175,000 in May.
The economy has added an average of 202,000 jobs per month for the first six months this year, a jump from 180,000 in the six months prior, another sign that businesses are hiring despite fiscal headwinds.
"While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers said in a statement.
"It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."
Krueger added: "With the recovery gaining traction, now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds on the economy."
The Federal Reserve has said it would start to reduce its stimulus purchases if the job market continues to improve. Estimates are that the central bank could end monthly bond purchases by this time next year.
Overall, the private sector added 202,000 jobs last month while the government shed 7,000, with 5,000 of those at the federal level.
Local governments added 13,000 jobs, and have now expanded for four months in a row after years of budget struggles.
State governments lost 15,000, mostly education, jobs.
Employment gains were seen in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, healthcare, and financial activities.
Leisure and hospitality added 75,000 jobs in June, with restaurants adding 52,000. The industry has averaged 55,000 a month so far this year, almost twice the average gain of 30,000 each month in 2012.
Employment in the amusements, gambling and recreation industry also added 19,000 jobs last month, a signal of seasonal hiring.
Retail trade employment increased by 37,000 while healthcare added 20,000 jobs.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) used the report to call for a permanent delay of the healthcare law.
"The added costs and regulations to businesses across our nation mean less jobs and less economic growth," Cantor said in a statement.
"Delaying the inevitable for one year will bring no solace. We must have a permanent delay of ObamaCare before we can realize our full job creating potential."
The Obama administration announced a yearlong hold on the healthcare law's employer mandate earlier this week.
Meanwhile, construction added 13,000 jobs last month, another sign of the housing market's sustained recovery.
But manufacturers' struggles continued as the sector lost 6,000 jobs.
A separate Institute for Supply Management report released on Monday showed that hiring in the sector contracted for the first time since September 2009.
Updated at 9:46 a.m.