The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs as the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in June, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The monthly jobs report fell just short of analysts' expectations for an increase of 230,000, adjusted for seasonal variation, in net jobs in the month.

Many details of Thursday's report, released a day early because of the Independence Day holiday, represented a disappointment after May's revised 257,000 jobs number.

Revisions to the payroll surveys for May and April subtracted 60,000 reported job gains from those months

While job gains have shown some resilience after a winter slowdown in U.S. economic growth, the labor market expansion appears to have fallen off the pace set in 2014.

Monthly job gains have averaged 221,000 over the past three months, versus 258,000 for 2014. No previous year of the slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis had seen over 200,000.

At 5.3 percent in June, the unemployment rate was the lowest of the recovery and the lowest since April of 2008.

But the 0.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate was driven by workers quitting the job hunt. The labor force shrank by 432,000, according to the household survey, and the labor force participation rate fell to 62.6 percent, the lowest level since 1977.

Thursday's report also included disappointing news relating to earnings. Average hourly earnings were unchanged at $24.95. On the year, wages are up just 2 percent.

In one bright spot in the June jobs report, the number of long-term unemployed dropped by 381,000, to 2.1 million. Over the past year, the ranks of people out of work for over 26 weeks has declined by nearly a million.