U.S payrolls dropped by 84,000 jobs in August, boosting the national unemployment rate to a five-year high of 6.1 percent, the Labor Department reported this week.

In the past year, 2.2 million U.S. workers have lost their jobs, with car manufacturers and employment services hit hardest, the report said.

While total unemployment climbed to 9.4 million last month, average hourly earnings rose by seven cents. Despite the wage gains, as many as 300,000 workers took on more than one job in August.

According to ADP, a Roseland, N.J.-based payroll firm, businesses with fewer than 50 employees created 20,000 new jobs last month, down from 46,000 in July. The ADP employment figures are based on payroll data from 500,000 businesses nationwide.