The nation's unemployment rate increased sharply to 5.6 percent in August, an increase of two-tenths of a percentage point, and men were hit particularly hard, the government reported Friday.

In more bad news, the factory workweek dropped, average overtime also declined, and 225,000 more Americans were standing in unemployment lines in August, the Labor Department said.The figures showed a payroll gain in August of 219,000 jobs - less than expected by most analysts. The payroll gain - a key gauge of future economic activity - was markedly down from the solid increase of 283,000 non-farm payroll jobs in July.

The unemployment rate in June was 5.3 percent, and it edged up in July to 5.4 percent. With the August figure of 5.6 percent, American unemployment has risen three-tenths of a percentage point since June.

Men were particularly hurt in August, the figures showed. Their unemployment rate leaped a full four-tenths of a percentage point - from 4.5 percent in July to 4.9 percent in August.