Some observers noted that the solid, but not spectacular, gains provided more fuel for the Fed to hike interest rates in September.
"We have nearly all year expected a rate increase in September and we see no reason to alter that view with the release of today's report," BTIG strategist Dan Greenhaus said in a note after the report.
"It is easily enough to keep the Fed on course for a September liftoff," economist Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics said in a note.
Read MoreFed gets no excuse in July jobs data: Economists
In the Labor Department report, a broader measure that includes those who have stopped looking for work or working part-time for economic reasons slipped to 10.4 percent from 10.5 percent in June. The number of seasonally adjusted part-time workers dropped from the previous month.
The average workweek for all employees on nonfarm payrolls rose slightly to 34.6 hours. Average hourly earnings climbed by five cents to $24.99.
Read MoreUS stocks open mildly lower as Street digests jobs data
The Labor Department also revised its May gains up, to 260,000 from 254,00 previously. June additions were revised to 231,000 from 223,000.
Retail trade and health care helped push job gains in July. Employment in retail trade rose by 36,000 in July, while the health care industry added 28,000 positions.
Manufacturing positions climbed by 15,000 and motor vehicle parts and dealers jobs rose by 13,000.
A mixed bag of separate labor market metrics surfaced before Friday's Labor Department report. American companies added a lower-than-expected 185,000 jobs in July, according to the ADP private payrolls report this week.
The employment cost index—the broadest measure of labor costs—rose 0.2 percent in the second quarter, the Labor Department said last week. That marked the smallest increase in 33 years and fell short of a consensus 0.6 percent increase, according to economists polled by Reuters.
Read MoreUS employment costs post smallest increase on record
However, the Labor Department said new applications for state unemployment benefits totaled 270,000 in the week ended Aug. 1, rising less than expected. Jobless claims have stayed below 300,000—a level that signals a strengthening labor market—for 22 straight weeks.