WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy unemployment rate increased, despite showing a net gain of 215,000 jobs in March.
Friday's data from the Labor Department shows the unemployment rate rose slightly to five percent, as hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans resumed their search for work.
That surge of job seekers caused the jobless rate to increase because government experts don't count people as officially unemployed unless they have searched for jobs in the past four weeks.
Unemployed people were apparently encouraged by news that the economy is improving.
Friday’s report also showed wages rising a modest three-tenths of a percent last month.
Employment rose in retail, construction and health care, while manufacturing and mining saw job losses.
Data show eight million Americans are still unemployed, while another 6.1 million want full time work but can find only part-time jobs.