WASHINGTON, June 6- The US economy pumped out 217,000 jobs in May, less than the previous month but still a solid number, Labor Department data showed Friday.
The unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent, after falling sharply from 6.7 percent in April.
The showing was close to expectations , implying a continued modest rebound to the economy after the 1.0 percent contraction of the first quarter of the year.
But the pace of job creation was not strong enough to pull people back into the workforce after having left it during the Great Recession, with the very low 62.8 percent rate of participation unchanged.
Encouraging, however, were falls in the number of people forced to work part time because they could not find full-time jobs, and a slight uptick in wages during the month.