The U.S. economy produced 288,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, MarketWatch reported today. The unemployment rate was the lowest since September 2008. 

In June, virtually every major industry added jobs, led by professional services, retail, restaurants, health care, finance and manufacturing.

Employment gains for May and April were also revised up by a combined 29,000, the Labor Department said.

The government said 224,000 new jobs were created in May, up from a preliminary 217,000, based on newly available data. April's gain was revised up to 304,000 from 282,000, marking the biggest increase in jobs in 2 1/2 years.

Average hourly wages rose 6 cents to $24.45 in June. Wages are up 2 percent over the past 12 months. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours.

So far in 2014, the economy has gained an average of 231,000 jobs a month, 19 percent faster than the 2013 pace of 194,000 and the best stretch of hiring since the recession ended in mid-2009.