That was much better than the 143,000 jobs economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting.
The economy generally needs to add around 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with the growing population. Anything above that chips away at the unemployment rate -- likely a key metric in determining which candidate will win the presidential race.
And more good news on the jobs front: Two separate reports showed that layoffs are on the decline.
The Labor Department said that 365,000 people filed for first-time unemployment claims in the week ended September 1, a 12,000 drop from the week before.
And another report put out by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas showed that planned job cuts hit a 20-month low.
Two jobs, hard times
Despite the upbeat economic reports, most economists said it will not significantly impact their expectations for a relatively lackluster number from the government's highly anticipated monthly jobs report, set for release Friday.
"Employment growth is still showing modest gains in this backdrop of uncertainty, both domestically and globally," said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo. "This is not a definite signal we'll see a stronger number this Friday."
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the Labor Department's data to show just 120,000 jobs added in August.