July 5 (UPI) -- The United States added 224,000 jobs during the month of June, beating analysts' expectations by about 60,000, the Labor Department said in its monthly workforce report Friday.
Analysts predicted an increase of about 165,000 for the month after a dismal May that saw only 75,000 new jobs.
The jobs report came four days after the U.S. economy set a record for most consecutive months of economic growth -- 121 -- without a recession. The streak dates back to July 2009 when the economy began pulling out of the financial crisis.
"Today's jobs report shows the U.S. economy continues to create jobs at a strong pace even as we enter the longest period of economic expansion on record," Citizens Bank analyst Tony Bedikian said of the report, and the record.
"If we had a Fed that would lower interest rates, we would be like a rocket ship," he told reporters at the White House. "But we're paying a lot of interest, and it's unnecessary. But we don't have a Fed that knows what they're doing."
The Fed meets for its next policy meeting July 30.
Capital Economics economist Andrew Hunter said the report makes a "mockery of market expectations" for a potential rate cut this month. Instead, he expects the cut to come in September.
The number of unemployed remained historically low at 6 million people, or 3.7 percent, Friday's report said -- an increase of 0.1 percent from May.
Wage growth was up 3.1 percent year-over-year, but below expectations.
A report this week from ADP and Moody's Analytics dampened expectations, citing just 102,000 new jobs for June. That report showed small businesses with fewer than 50 employees shed 23,000 jobs last month.