The U.S. unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent in April with 539,000 jobs lost, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.

The jobless rate hit its highest level since September 1983. In April, job losses were enlarged and widespread across almost all major private-sector industries.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 563,000 to 13.7 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent. In December 2007, there are 5.7 million jobs have been lost. Overall, private-sector employment fell by 611,000 the agency said in a statement.

The number of unemployment persons rose to 13.7 million in April, up six million over the past 12 months. And the number of long-term employed, without jobs for 27 weeks or more, increased by 498,000 to 3.7 million over the month and has risen by 2.4 million since the start of the recession in December 2007.

On the positive side, the civilian labor force participation rate rose in April to 65.8 percent and the employment-population ratio was unchanged at 59.9 percent.

There is a sign showing that more people are looking for employment instead of dropping their job search.