Nonfarm payrolls grew at a pace in line with recent trends, rising 217,000 in May as the unemployment rate held steady at 6.3 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most of the job gains came on lower-paying industries as wages rose modestly, increasing 5 cents an hour to maintain the 2.1 percent growth over the past 12 months. Average hours worked came in flat at 34.5.
A broader measure of joblessness that includes those working part time for economic reasons and those who have quit looking remained elevated at 12.2 percent, though that was a low for the year and the best "U6" measure since October 2008.
Economists surveyed by Reuters expected 218,000 U.S. jobs were created last month, down from April's downwardly revised 282,000. The unemployment rate had been expected at 6.4 percent.