1.3 million workers filed jobless claims last week

The figure highlights the ongoing anguish in the labor market.

The Labor Department on Thursday said 1.3 million more U.S. workers filed jobless claims last week.

The weekly figure from the federal government is slowly declining since peaking in late March, but remains at historically high levels and has been over 1 million each week for nearly four months.

This week's figure is also essentially the same as last week's.

While businesses are beginning to reopen in many states, more than 17 million Americans are still receiving unemployment insurance as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. At the end of the month, workers without a job are set to lose the extra $600 a week in pandemic aid, an issue stoking anxiety for many.

The official unemployment rate in June was 11.1%, the Labor Department said earlier this month. Some economists worry, however, that this figure might rise again as some businesses are forced to close after concerning increases in COVID-19 cases in some states.

Travel, hospitality, food and beverage services and any industries that require face-to-face contact or where social distancing is difficult were among the hardest hit by the coronavirus financial crisis.