WASHINGTON -- Unemployment rose to 5.7% in July, the highest in four years, as businesses cut 62,000 jobs, the Department of Labor reported today.
July's numbers represented a .2% increase over June and a 1% rise from July 2007.
The number of people employed fell by 72,000, while the number unemployed rose by 285,000.
Wage growth also remained sluggish, Average hourly earnings grew 6 cents, or .03%. That compares to an increase of 5 cents in June.
As in June, employment increased in health care, hospitality/leisure and mining while it decreased in manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services.
The number of people who worked part time out of necessity --because they could not find full-time--increased by 308,000 to 5.7 million, and has grown by 1.4 million in the last year.
The data released today represents the second consecutive set of sluggish economic data released this week by the government. On Thursday, the Commerce Department said that the nation's gross domestic product grew by just 1.9% in June.